Alborosie – Dub Pirate

by May 14, 2024Artist, Reviews

Alborosie - Dub Pirate

Release Info

Label
Evosound Music Group
Format
Limited Edition LP / CD / DR
Street date
April 20, 2024
Contact
Website Artist

Tracklist
1 Kingston Dub Town
2 Still Dubbing
3 Rasta Dub Anthem
4 Precious Dub
5 Guess Who’s Dubbing
6 Natural Mystic Dub
7 Nuh Betta Than Me Dub
8 Herbal Dub
9 Diversity Dub
10 Slam Dub Bam
11 Dub Police
12 Tribal Dub
Alborosie: The Soul Pirate From Sicily

Born Alberto D’Ascola in Sicily (1977), Alborosie’s musical journey began in 1993 with the reggae band Reggae National Tickets. In a pivotal move, he relocated to the heart of reggae – Jamaica – in 2001. There, his career flourished with the breakout hit Herbalist (2006), followed by chart-topping anthems like Kingston Town and Rastafari Anthem (2007). Alborosie’s success extended beyond these singles, solidifying his position as a reggae powerhouse with a string of critically acclaimed albums. A multi-talented artist, he crafts his music as a songwriter, engineer, and producer, drawing inspiration from the golden age of reggae in the 1970s and 80s. A staunch advocate for authenticity, Alborosie shuns digital tools, opting instead for real instruments and analog equipment in his Shengen Clan Studio (Kingston). This dedication is further evident in his collection of vintage equipment once used by reggae legends King Tubby and Coxsone Dodd. This deep connection to reggae’s roots extends to his production ventures in dub music, solidifying his reputation as a true champion of the genre.

Dub Pirate

Reggae heavyweight Alborosie unveils his latest project, Dub Pirate, a dub rendition of his 2008 breakout album, Soul Pirate. That album put Alborosie on the map and ignited his prolific career. Dub Pirate offers a deep dive into Alborosie’s signature dub style, conscientiously crafted using the analog equipment that remains a cornerstone of his production process. The sonic textures echo the works of dub pioneers like King Tubby, Scientist, and Prince Jammy, with a touch of modern flair. Because the foundation of these dub excursions lies in the original Soul Pirate tracks, which are rooted in traditional reggae, devoid of flirtations with dancehall or other urban styles, you can expect well-balanced remixes featuring Alborosie’s signature dub arsenal – generous echo effects, masterful manipulation of high and low filters, and a healthy dose of pleasing sound manipulation. These songs provide a perfect canvas for Alborosie’s dub artistry, ensuring a truly immersive listening experience. The coloured vinyl album was a 2024 RSD special and the MQA CD and DR were released on 20 April.

Hits reworked

A major strength of Dub Pirate is its inspired deconstruction of Alborosie’s three biggest hits. Familiar melodies from Kingston Town, Rastafari Anthem, and Herbalist are given a fresh lease on life, transformed into captivating dub excursions. Kingston Dub pulsates with the energy of its namesake city, while Rasta Dub Anthem takes on a more contemplative feel. The aptly titled Herbal Dub is a satisfying dub quest, putting Herbalist through a kaleidoscope of effects. Alborosie sparingly uses vocal snippets, allowing the instrumental textures to take center stage. However, tracks like Diversity Dub showcase his ability to seamlessly integrate captivating vocal elements when desired. While all the dub versions are commendable, there are a few personal favorites that deserve special mention.

Masterful execution

Still Dub Blazing creates a profoundly immersive soundscape by employing generous echo effects on the guitar, resulting in a dreamy and captivating atmosphere. In the case of Precious Dub, the dub version of Precious (ft. Ranking Joe), the focus shifts towards the horn section. The powerful blasts of brass intertwine with ethereal and otherworldly effects, further enhancing the depth of the sonic exploration. The energy remains exhilarating in the dub rendition of Police, where Alborosie incorporates metallic effects to infuse an industrial edge into the original vocal track. However, the album truly shines with Natural Dub Mystic, the dub reimagining of his collaboration with Kymani Marley. This rock-solid riddim was practically destined for dub treatment, and Alborosie executes it masterfully. The heart of the track lies in the driving bass line and recurring horn parts, which are then enveloped by swirling and spacey sound effects, resulting in a wicked dub experience.

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