After a long hiatus, certainly in the public eye if not on record, this week saw the release of a new Sly and Robbie album entitled ‘Blackwood Dub’. The concept (as better explained here via the BBC) was to re-create the original dub styles and production that is so synonymous with 1970’s Jamaica.
Whilst this idea may sound cheesy, any scepticism I had was eradicated after the first listen, let alone after the tracks were given time to grow on the following few. Inevitably there are some more modern elements to a few of the songs which are undoubtedly influenced by current sounds, however the overall experience is surprisingly ‘genuine’ (this comment should obviously be taken in relation to the idea behind the project and not the artists in general).
There are a few sure-fire dancefloor hits that have their roots (sorry) firmly in the golden age of dub reggae such as ‘Dirty Flirty ‘and the totally infectious ‘Frenchman Code’. However there are also a couple of more interesting and complex moments on the album, my personal favourite being the intricate arrangements on ‘Burru Saturday’.
You can stream samples of the whole LP below but as always don’t let that get in the way of a trip to either your closest record shop, or your favourite website.