Northern Dub Mystic – Rough

by | Dec 18, 2017 | Artist, Reviews

Northern Dub Mystic - Rough
Northern Dub Mystic

Release Info

Title: Northern Dub Mystic – Rough

Label:  NDM Music |Format: DR |Street date: November 14, 2017 |


  1. Rough
  2. Live Positive
  3. Red Light
  4. Captain Speaking
  5. Daylight
  6. Far I Stand Firm
  7. Signing In
  8. Mr.Serge Blowing
  9. Street Puff
  10. Light Shine Brighter
  11. Bullet
  12. Traveller
  13. Smooth And Fruity
  14. Tender Riff


In July 2016, Northern Dub Mystic released their self titled debut. The result – one of the top Dub projects of the year. The Dub duo of Marco “Hightower” van den Berg and Marc de Jonge have emerged from their Maple Wood Studios (Assen, Netherlands) with their sophomore, “ROUGH”. An adventurous and contagious Dub offering that builds on the superb vision of their debut. These veterans of the prosperous Dutch Reggae movement create and originate a rich and engaging soundscape that sounds like a full band, not two talented musicians. Amazing to say the least. Over the last year, NDM has been sharpening their live set and venturing further into Dub territory at their rustic studio. Marco is crucial bass, melodica and otherwise. Marc supplies broad licks and kicks, keys and is monumental on the mix once again. Dr. Serge adds serious sax on this project. Dortmund based Alien Levi (upstanding engineer whose touch has graced numerous classics) mastered this album. Always looking forward, “Rough” is a culmination of the last two years of the duo’s sessions.


The title track kicks it off with detonating pulse. The intertwining of Mr. Serge’s versatile sax, Marco’s floating melodica/bass meshes with Marc’s Fyah licks and kicks. Layers and layers of Dubism that results in totally cohesive originality. Heavier than lead! The vibes are Royal on “Live Positive”. After some serious reasoning, the atmosphere ignites with powerful Dub strikes. Marc and Marco create a riddim akin to a late ’70s Channel One session but the Dub injection elevates into vibrations way above sky heights. Melodica bleeds Royal with impeccable drum and bass connection. Pure dynamite. It’s evident that NDM ventures beyond the realms of what most Dub masters are doing these days. The adventures are totally engaging and hypnotic.

Serious Works

“Red Light” is a standout track that’s found it’s way into their live set. Skully Simms’ absolute reasoning flows nicely with a scorching riddim spiced up by Mr. Serge. The Dub theory is seamlessly great. There’s many levels going on; an ethereal excursion that is ORIGINAL something. “Captain Speaking” is a smooth voyage into the House of Dub. The instrumentation is tight and not overdone. Each instrument is fattened up and detonates with hypnotic pulse. Serious works! “Daylight” shines so bright. A bin shaking frequency with Marc’s lead guitar accentuating Marco’s lilting bass. Alpha vibrations all the way through. An amazing piece of JAH work. “Far I Stand Firm” is powerful and potent. Prince Far I echoes words of wisdom from Mt. Zion over this taut riddim that’s expertly reconstructed in the echo chamber. Hypnotic in nature, Dub music has just gotten greater. The vision of NDM is groundbreaking. Instant rewind selection!!

Zionic quality

“Signing In” is the real thing. Focusing more on raw instrumentation; this is a great display of the riddim talent of Marc and Marco. Marc mixes just right with a stark Dub treatment that suits perfectly. “Mr. Serge Blowing” is a Blessed track indeed. This saxman has talent equal to the late, great Deadly Headly Bennett and flows over another taut riddim. More version than Dub, the straightforward approach on the mix is crucial. “Street Puff” is tuff a tuff! Over a potent backbone, we can hear Ini Kamoze echo “out in the street… murder”. Combine that with a sporadic “Day-O” and something truly special brews! This has a Groucho Smykle tuffness to it. Each track is dissected and reconnected with Zionic quality. Totally original, but brings back memories of early ’80s Island/Mango days. Definite highlight!

Majestic frequency

The majestic frequency continues with “Light Shine Brighter”. King Cry Cry(Prince Far I) exalts from the mists of Mt. Zion over a bouncing riddim that is big and broad. The riddim is fattened up in a tasty and innovative way. An engagement of ancient/future meshed with brilliance by Marc. “Bullet” is penetrating Dubwise. Likely in your live set, it evokes fond memories of African Head Charge’s “Songs Of Praise” along with Creation Rebel’s “Starship Africa”. This duo focuses on innovation and originality but old broom knows it’s corners. A hypnotic musical workout that’s quite remarkable. Turn this way up! “Traveller” is an organic Steppers vibe with floating melodica and detonating rimshot from Marc’s drum kit. This Dub congress is in full progress! “Smooth And Fruity” lives up to its title. A rolling riddim flavored with Zionic flavor and vision. Smashingly great episode! The album closes with “Tender Riff”. A front and center showcase of Marc and Marco’s musical ability. A Heartical instrumental that’s essential. A Niyabinghi driven piece with tasty guitar, bass and percussion with Royal hints of melodica. Diversity and versatility.

Resonating Album

Northern Dub Mystic have delivered another resonating album with “Rough”. Their ability to create such broad and atmospheric vibrations is amazing. Each track has a strikingly different frequency. Each song is presented with unique and original mixing techniques. Some Dub albums have a common thread from start to finish; not on “Rough”. The Sound spectrum is spread wide and wise. Highest recommendation!!

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