by: Jarret Lovell
Dr. Israel: Live at Dub Mission,. San Francisco
Brooklyn’s own Dr. Israel is one of the unsung heroes of so many underground movements. In the early 1990s, he was one of the pioneers of the jungle music movement. But whereas much jungle music died out quickly from lack of innovation, Dr. Israel was among the most innovative of the genre, incorporating elements of reggae and dub into his hyper-sonic beats. As jungle gave way to the “illbeient” movement that saw DJ Spooky rise to fame, Dr. Israel was there, a natural star in a movement born in his NYC backyard. Today, Dr. Israel simply cannot be categorized. Indeed, as part of the megaband Method of Defiance (see below), he dabbles in everything from straightforward reggae to avant-jazz. Here, the Doc provides his fans a two-cd live set, available as a free download from his website Dr. Israel.net. Highly recommended for reggae/dub/dubstep/RPM and hip-hop shows!
Method of Defiance : Incunabula
My favorite band of 2010, Method of Defiance return with an all-instrumental avant-jazz-funk-dub experience not to be missed! Bill Laswell (Bass), BernieWorrell of Parliament/Funkadelic (Keyboards), Guy Licata (Drums), Dr Israel (Dub fx.). A non-stop medley of musical interaction featuring Japanese turntable master DJ Krush and on electric trumpet Japan's own, sound and fury - Toshinori Kondo with special appearance by keyboard legend Herbie Hancock. #2 is an all out jazz funk improve. #3 & #5 are ambient dub. The rest are ambient soundscapes. Check it all out.
Stephen Marley: Revelation Part 1: Roots of Life
Before the album was even out, too much had already been written about it – calling it not only the reggae album of the year, but a destined classic. Much of this was likely record company hype, but not too much. Tired of the violence and misogyny coming from Jamaican dancehall, Marley – already an acclaimed producer, songwriter and two-time Grammy winner – set out to construct a set of songs that take reggae back to its roots, without all of the music necessarily sounding “roots.” The result was enough songs to fill two albums. Hence, part 1 is presented here. The song “Jah Army” is already a veritable classic, being heard on KUCI’s “Positive Vibrations” and “The Dread Zone” as well as internationally for months. The rest of the album is equally strong, though by no means as aggressive. Guests include Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Buju Banton, and others. Listen and assess the hype for yourself.
Augustus Pablo: Message Music
Augustus Pablo stands recognized as Jamaican music's best-known lead instrumentalist. Playing the melodica (an air-generated piano/flute contraption), his music was very mystical and spiritual, perfect for the 190s era of “roots” reggae. By the mid 1980s Pablo had become a lot more 'visible', yet a lot less fashionable and a little of his 'mystique' had rubbed off as digital dancehall music dominated the scene. Pablo, though, continued producing roots vocalists and getting to grips with the new sounds at his disposal. He still played melodica when he felt the inspiration and on tracks such as 'Missing Link' and 'Credential' are superb 'digital' instrumentals. Pressure Sounds, which has released these classic Pablo tracks, describes this album as, “one about an artist coming to terms with the digital or electronic age and still managing to maintain the main ingredient of what his music was all about.”