Niney The Observer – Sledgehammer Dub In The Street Of Jamaica

by Mar 22, 2024Mini-Review, Reviews

Niney The Observer - Sledgehammer Dub In The Street Of Jamaica

Release Info

Burning Sounds
Street date
March 22, 2024
Website Record Label


Side 1
1. Dub Long Rastafari
2. Travelling Version
3. You’re No Dub Baby
4. Burning Dub
5. Kingsgate Version

Side 2
1. Dub Now
2. God Bless My Dub
3. Everyone’s Dubbing
4. Rich And Poor Dub
5. Tribulation Version


Niney The Observer not only produced music of vocalists and deejays but also gained recognition for his production of dub music, a uniquely Jamaican style. Dubbing With The Observer is a well-known dub album by Niney, and serves as the dub counterpart to Deep Down With Dennis Brown, an exceptional and uncommon album by the singer that was recorded during the late 1970s and released on the Observer label. The Sledgehammer Dub album, which was mixed by the great King Tubby and released in 1977 with a blank sleeve and no tracklisting, was produced in limited quantities. Motion Records, the now defunct London-based record label, reissued the LP in 2002 with two bonus tracks added. The following year, the CD version was released with two more bonus tracks. The album covers for both releases featured an image of The Observer record store in Kingston from the 1970s.

Red Vinyl

In 2015, Burning Sounds re-released both the LP (on 180 gram black vinyl) and the CD, featuring a blank cover with Niney The Observer and the title in red. Nearly a decade later, Burning Sounds once again reissued the LP, this time on red vinyl. The dubs included in this classic album don’t have any vocals, allowing the instruments of the Soul Syndicate band and UK-based band The Cimarrons (featured on the B-side’s tracks 4 & 5) to shine through.

The Dubs

The opening tune, a dub version of So Long Rastafari, showcases the popular flying cymbal sound, which is an adaptation of the Philly Sound from the 1970s. The subsequent track, a pumping dub version of Travelling Man, precedes the eerie dub of You’re No Good called You’re No Dub Baby, which happens to be one of the top tracks here. Voice Of My Father, considered as one of Dennis Brown’s timeless vocal efforts, is mercilessly stripped down. Leaving only the flying cymbal, bass, and some organ injections, turns Burning Dub into an absolutely wicked listening experience. Kingsgate Version, the dub of Open The Gate, boasts a groovy wah-wah guitar, while Dub Now strips away the sentimental vibe from the vocal cut Go Now. Next up is God Bless My Dub, which has been expertly treated by King Tubby. The Heptones’ composition, Why Must I, has been transformed into an echoing drum and bass performance. The last dub on the album, Tribulation Version, begins calmly but quickly builds momentum, taking hold of the listener with a creeping force.

A must-have LP, that simply has to be part of any dub collection.

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