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Sound System International Dub LP by King Tubby and The Clancy Eccles All Stars

Sound System International Dub LP by King Tubby and The Clancy Eccles All Stars

Sound System International Dub LP by King Tubby and The Clancy Eccles All Stars

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An unique release from the Dynamites, with its Clancy Eccles production and a young King Tubby at the mixing desk.

Pressure Sounds specialise in getting hold of relatively little-known releases from the vaults of reggae, dusting them down and re-mastering the tracks, then presenting them to an eager contemporary audience along with new sleeve notes and background information. But even Pressure Sounds have excelled themselves with a press release for an album so ‘unbelievably obscure’ that ‘no-one...had ever heard of it’ until a copy appeared earlier this year. This is definitely a different way of marketing something but we can all be glad that they bothered. Here, we have the chance to listen to this unique release from the Dynamites, with its Clancy Eccles production and a young King Tubby at the mixing desk.

It is early and effective dub. The vinyl release reproduces the ten original album tracks while the CD re-sequences the album and adds five more bonus tracks. The best-known song on the album is probably Lord Creator’s ‘Kingston Town’, here dubbed simply and effectively by Tubby with snatches of the original vocal and fading in and out of the uncomplicated arrangement of bass, drums and guitar.

‘Garrison’ (the opening track on the vinyl release) is fast, simple dance-oriented dub that can readily be imagined blasting from a sound system, international or otherwise, at the time this was produced. There are contrasts here though. ‘King of Kings’ by King Stitt (one of the bonus tracks) is a deejay dialogue prompted by U Roy’s claims to pre-eminence, while ‘Joe’ gives Tubby a chance to practise his classic echo style amidst a crowded mix led by early-style reggae rhythm guitar. The strangely old-fashioned instrumentation of ‘Red Moon’, borrowing an initial melody line from the standard ‘Blue Moon’, hints at the links between early reggae and the conventional mainstream music of the period, and it sounds especially curious in its dubbed-up incarnation here.

The familiar sound of ‘King Tubby’s City Dub’, around what is basically a repeating 12-bar structure, is a sign of things to come from King Tubby. In its simplicity here it’s free of the sound effects and electronic squeaks that would later be added to dub as a whole. This dub is followed (though only on the CD) by a bonus version of the same rhythm in the form of the legendary ‘Phantom’ from the Dynamites and Andy Capp. The heavyweight ‘House of Darkness’ closes the vinyl album while the CD ends with ‘Tribute to Drumbago’, a basic busy brass-dominated workout.

Obscure this album might have been, but not anymore. Turn up the bass and press repeat and, with hindsight, you can hear where all this would take us.

© August 2009 - Ranking John for reggaemusic.org.uk

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Posted by JJ on 02.01.2010
Once again 3 of these tracks were first issued by the Jamaican Gold label on their compilation Clancy Eccles Reggae Review At The Carib Theatre JMC200.254 back in 2001, so it's hardly unheard of. Also Pressure Sounds have got the tracklist mixed up. King Tubbys City Dub is actually the dub to King Stitts In The City track. I can't fathom why this mis-information is going on in reviews by Dub Vendor, Pressure Sounds and now United Reggae. Surely abit of investigation by writers before writing reviews would sort this out, rather than just repeating what the labels tell you.

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