Jah Warrior Showcase Vol. II

Steve "Jah Warrior" Mosco has assembled a pretty impressive cast of vocalists to voice his digi-dub rhythms. Each vocal track is followed by a dub of its rhythm. Most tracks on Showcase Vol. II fall on the driving, rocker side of dub. Despite Mosco's concern for sensitivity in the programming, those reggae fans that don't like digi-dub will probably be turned off by this album. There are lots of quantised electro-sounds, which sound stiff and inflexible until further listening reveals them to be catchy rhythms. Jah Warrior excels in the dubs, bringing out the nuances of the production and softening the quantisation with spongy delay settings. These dubs aren't the most original and inventive jams in reggae history, but they're done by someone that is roots-centric and knows how to maximise the right elements. The vocal tracks are a mixed bag: Prince Alla's "Be Careful" is a fine tune, whereas the great Alton Ellis sounds real old and past it on "Here I Stay." Invariably, no matter what the quality of the vocals, the dubs improve on the rhythms. The best track here is the dub of Jah Warrior's own instrumental, "Hot Steppers." (Independent)