Jimmy Radway and The Fe Me Time Allstars Dub I

This is the epitome of mid-'70s roots-y dub. This album should take its place alongside Keith Hudson's Pick A Dub as one of the best examples of this era's output. Although it's not quite as inspired as that combined King Tubby/Hudson partnership, the rhythms are beyond reproach and hit hard. Though Radway was a fairly obscure producer, casual fans will recognize a number of bed tracks from Big Youth's peak years. This kind of dub features every instrument shimmering with tape delay, with the echo turned up to 11 at opportune moments, more reminiscent of Black Ark's work a little later on, minus Perry's tape degradation and phase-shifting. The man at the controls is the under-sung Errol Thompson and this has got to be a highlight of his long and distinguished career. The brevity of many tracks means that rhythms and soundscapes barely have a chance to establish their individuality before fading out quickly, but it also underlines the sublime pop song structures that gave rise to these dubs. Heroic horn sections, inimitably swinging drums and endless percussive textures created by tape delay add up to a classic. Only 300 copies were pressed in 1975, so this is a real treat to discover anew more than 30 years later. (Pressure Sounds)