The recent release of Chezidek’s song Spiritual People along with its alternate version, Spiritual Dub, on download and streaming platforms, piqued our curiosity to delve into an LP called King Of The Dub Rock 3. Due to unavailability of the LP at the time of its release, we had missed the opportunity to review it. Thankfully, Marc Baronner from the JahSolidRock crew managed to find a copy and kindly sent it our way.
Fans of reggae who have been around for a long time will surely recall the two compilation albums, King Of The Dub Rock, which were released in 1975 and 1982 by Lloydie Coxsone, a UK sound system operator and record producer. After almost forty years since the release of King Of The Dub Rock 2, Dutch production house JahSolidRock has collaborated with Lloydie Coxsone to finally bring out the long-awaited third installment of the classic King Of The Dub Rock series. Unlike the first two albums, which not only showcased Lloydie’s own productions but also included tracks by Jamaican producer “Gussie” Clarke and powerful dubs by Scientist, this LP exclusively features JahSolidRock productions. This album treats listeners to distinctive dub mixes and vocal tracks from artists like Brinsley Forde, David Hinds, Apple Gabriel, as well as introducing new tunes by Earl Sixteen & Mutabaruka, Chezidek, Micah Shemaiah, Var, and Ras Teo.
Throughout this album, listeners are treated to attention-grabbing reggae music of the highest order. The tone is set by the late Apple Gabriel, former front man of Israel Vibration, with his exceptional new (Tuff Gong) version of In The Jungle, a track previously featured on his 2010 album Teach Them Right. Another standout is the horn-infused Back To The Roots/Ship A Come, which showcases the skills and talent of Earl Sixteen and dub poet Mutabaruka. Chezidek’s incredible Spiritual People, sung over a reimagined version of the riddim from Pablo Moses’ timeless 1980 hit Dubbing Is A Must, follows next. The vocals are beautiful and the lyrics thought-provoking, making it impossible to ignore. The album also includes a mesmerizing dub version that shouldn’t be missed.
Singer, songwriter, and musician Var Hillsman, also known as Kevar ‘Var’ Williams, showcases his incredible talent on the second half of the album with the previously released single You Alone. Despite the title suggesting a typical love song, Var surprises listeners with a deep and spiritually uplifting track of mesmerizing beauty. Another artist who previously worked with JahSolidRock Music, Micah Shemaiah, follows with the infectious tune Rubadub, transporting listeners to the lively dancehall scene where rubadub reigns supreme. The soulful singer’s captivating vocals are then paired with a dub treatment, allowing the riddim to shine in all its glory. Lastly, Ras Teo, known for his inspiring spiritual songs, presents Way Up, a captivating track that leaves a lasting impact. In a rare occurrence, the preference regarding the last two tracks leans towards replaying the mesmerizing Way Up Version due to its incredible allure.
King Of The Dub Rock 3 is an album that will fully satisfy lovers of real reggae music, whether or not they have any desire to complete the King Of The Dub Rock trilogy. It’s a must-have for any fan of the genre.