Elroy Bailey – Red Hot Dub

by May 30, 2021Mini-Review, Reviews

Release Info

Elroy Bailey – Red Hot Dub

Label: Burning Sounds | Format: LP/CD/DR | Street date: May 28, 2021

Tracks

  1. Coconut Dreams
  2. Spencer Road Rock
  3. Lovers Style
  4. Red Hot
  5. Latin Mood
  6. Moving Creatures
  7. Jumping Cali
  8. Computers Fail
  9. Dewbein
Elroy Bailey - Red Hot Dub

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Elroy Bailey was born in Hackney, London UK to parents who came to London in the Windrush era. His father owned a sound and young Elroy was influenced by the music he heard there. He joined his father’s band, and later he was invited to play bass in a band called Young Ones From Zion. They changed the name to Black Slate and became one of the UK’s best-known reggae bands. Elroy Bailey was the bassist and percussionist as well as one of the band’s singers. He died in the spring of 2018. Read our review of his 1977 single Stop The Killing here.

Although the heyday of dub was over by the end of the 1970s, good dub albums still appeared on the market regularly. Examples of this are the albums of Scientist and Prince Jammy. In the UK it was Prince Far I and his Arabs who, along with Adrian Sherwood, left their mark on the dub scene, while Dennis Bovell and The Mad Professor also played crucial ‘dub’ roles.

In 1979, the Burning Vibrations label released Elroy’s debut album, Red Hot Dub. It is now available again, on 180 gram vinyl with the original artwork. Let me start by stating that the word ‘dub’ in the title is somewhat misleading. Forget the dub sets from King Tubby, Lee Perry, Scientist, and Prince Jammy. This is different, these are not stripped-down versions, but solid, relaxed instrumental pieces with correctly dosed sound fx and sophisticated use of instruments. It truly marks the musical qualities of the unknown musicians.

Besides the emphasis on percussion and bass, the nine tracks are notable for the use of horns, which melodically lead the way through this album. At times this provides relaxed jazzy undertones, and even a hint of South American influences on the swinging Latin Mood, where a Stan Getz-esque saxophone takes you to sunny places. The riddim of the catchy opening track Coconut Dreams sounds very familiar, but I have no idea about the original. The drum & bass riddim of Spencer Road Rock benefits from the simple guitar and saxophone solo parts that are played on top of it. On Moving Creatures, the vibraphone has been used strikingly, creating a bit of a Lenny Hibbert-like atmosphere. The closing track Dewbein fits in seamlessly with this. Jumping Call treats the listener to a percussion-dominated track driven by a downright awesome bassline played by Errol. Don’t overlook Red Hot either because this track has an interesting quality about it and makes a very nice impact.

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