Dusk Dubs returns again, and this week its battle royal time! It was about time that we threw the gauntlet down, turn the faders up, and asked two Dusk Dubs heavyweights to go toe to toe in a Dub War.
Both selectors bring their box of records, making their choices wisely, trying to outdo the other. I ready the sound system, play their tunes, mediate, and throw in the odd air-horn. Well, it is Dusk Dubs after all!
Stepping up, we have Original Gidman and General Camel. 'The Oracle' Vs 'The Ninja'….. 'The 89-93 Raver' Vs 'The 92-97 Raver'.
Will The General respect his elder? Will The Gidman have the stamina? Who will be the last man standing?
It's officially time to let the music do the talking!
I present…. DUSK DUBS - THE BIG SHOWDOWN
Prince Jammy – Life is a Moment in Space
A classic 1982 dub version of Wayne Smith’s ‘Time is a Moment’ which amazingly, is based around Barbara Streisand's ‘Woman In Love’ melody.
What an opener!
Mikey Dread – Operators Choice
Recorded in 1979 between the legendary Channel One Recording Studios and King Tubby Studios, this crazy dub can be found on African Anthem (The Mikey Dread Show Dubwise) LP.
Rae & Christian – Catch a Rude Awakening
Featured on the 1998 album ‘Northern Sulphuric Soul’, this is a classic Rae & Christian riddim and a serious ‘Mancunian Head-Nodder’.
MC Shan – The Bridge (Bladerunners Dub)
This version can be found on the extended 4xLP ‘Down by Law’ album, and hits you with an old school party breaks vibe.
“Keep Rockin’ The Beat”!
The Ragga Twins - Hooligan 69
A ‘Bleep & Bass’ classic from The Ragga Twins, aka Flinty Badman & Deman Rocker. On one of the UK’s pioneering ‘breakbeat’ labels, 'Shut Up & Dance'.
Originally released in 1990 and then again in 1991, this track was a firm favourite back in the day with DJ’s and ravers alike. Who can forget when that Prince sample would drop followed by the bleeps followed by that bass.
Dance floor destruction guaranteed.
Prince Fatty – Insane in the Brain
Released in 2010 on the 'Mr Bongo' imprint out of Brighton. This version of Cypress Hill’s ‘Insane in the Brain’ bounces along to a reggae/ska beat, with reverb and echo layered underneath Horsemouth’s delivery.
Definitely a ‘sing-a-long’ moment for the dance.
Rebel MC – Comin’ on Strong (Ruff Neck Mix)
Released in 1990 on Desire Records, Michael West aka Rebel MC (later to become Congo Natty), was one of the first artists from the UK Rave/Hardcore scene to begin merging reggae/ragga vibes with UK breakbeat well ahead of the Jungle Sound that would follow. This featured Tenor Fly, who would also appear on a number of classics from that period including ‘The Wickedest Sound’ and ‘Tribal Base’.
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five – The Message (Paul Nice Super Duty Bootleg Mash Up)
A true Hip-Hop anthem no doubt, but this time flipped with a reggae/dub vibe by Paul Kilianski, aka Paul Nice, out of New York. Known for his classic mix tapes during the late 1990’s, Paul mashes up the Furious Five’s rap over a skankin’ reggae beat with additional reverb and classic melodica.
Depeche Mode – Useless (K&D Session Remix)
An amazing remix by Kruder & Dorfmeister, who manage to turn Depeche Mode’s rock anthem into a blissed-out dub classic. At this point in their musical career, K&D seemed to be hitting that ‘Purple Patch’ as can be heard in the Compilation ‘The K&D Sessions’ (1998).
Primal Scream – Come Together (Andrew Weatherall Remix)
Possibly Mr Weatherall’s finest moment as a producer. He managed to combine the dance sensibilities of the 1990’s rave scene alongside indie rock. I first heard this on a ‘Flying Records’ mixtape back in the day, and to this day still manages to ooze euphoric energy alongside those dubbed-out beats.
Tosca – Orozco (Dubphonic Remix)
Featured on Tosca’s 2008 ‘Suzuki in Dub’ album, this track is a great example of that elegant dub sound that the G-Stone label do so well.
Killer sub bass.
Eddie C – You’re Welcome
A phat ‘slo-house’ groove from the now ‘closed-down’ Jisco Music label that manages to tick all the ‘DuskDubs’ boxes. Dubby, Jazzy and Housey.
I can’t get enough of this track!
Peshay – Never Let You Go
Peshay returned this year on the Tru Thoughts label out of Brighton with the non-Drum & Bass album “Generation”, and what an album it is. This track is a great example of him experimenting with organic drums, horns, guitars and vintage synths to create a dreamy downtempo ‘head-nodder’.
J-Walk feat. Veba – Scarlet Menace
Originating from Manchester UK, the duo J-Walk, made up of DJ Martin Brew and studio guru Martin Desai started releasing music in 1996, but scored an underground classic with the ‘Soul Vibration EP’ in 2000. ‘Scarlet Menace’ is taken from their one and only album ‘A Night On The Rocks’ (2002) and features the fiery yet soulful vocals of occasional Rae & Christian collaborator Veba, and some seriously funky horns!
Meat Beat Manifesto – Spinning Round Dub
British breakbeat pioneer Jack Dangers aka Meat Beat Manifesto released the ‘…In Dub’ CD/DVD in 2004. It features some amazing dub bombs with this being one.
Check it, at your speakers peril!
Genaside II – Narra Mine
Originally released in 1991 during the Hardcore/Rave era, this breakbeat monster features both the ethereal vocals of Sharon Williams and one of the fiercest raga vocals I’d heard at the time from Killer Man Archer. Geneside II released a number of hardcore favourites during this period, including ‘The Alchemist’, ‘Death of the Kamikazee’ and ‘The Motiv’. But for me it will always be ‘Narra Mine’ that encapsulates the feeling of that era.