Various Dub Selector

In the '70s, Jamaican dub pioneered the whole studio as instrument philosophy, the mutation of which one can trace to modern day electronica. Dub Selector might at first seem to feature the variety of dub more palatable to the big pants brigade; like a chill out soundtrack for the skunky, red-eyed youth of today more interested in organic cereal than organic sounds. The tracks featuring Jamaicans Luciano and Sizzla offer some semi-old school credibility but are carefully remixed to accommodate themselves to the nu dub theme. While it's obviously not for cally-puffing dub purists, the grooves still lock on like a robotic pit bull's titanium jaws. The majority of cuts meld old-school guitar, keyboard, bass and drum sounds with newer electronic textures in ways influenced more by today's dance, trance and remix production. On Grant Phabao's burbling old school space age journey "Andum Head Yudu," Rasta drums bob and weave with newfangled polymerised beats. The opening track on the disc, Cottonbelly's 1994 recording of "Tempest Dub," is another example of the merger of old and new, with old school guitar, drums'n'fx, vocals, horns and bass evolving into synth and grooves. Some tracks are less organic, like the ones by France's I.Cube and Birmingham's G-Corp, whose "Babylon Dub" is lousy with cheap synthetic keyboard and beat presets, sounding very much like modern day, soulless Jamaican ragga. Even G-Corp's remix of Luciano's "Police And Thieves" has a spare arrangement that throbs with nu school beats, over which he soulfully vocalises. A few cuts, like the very traditional percussion driven "A Dub Experience," from 1994 by France's St. Germain, and the Bronx Dogs' remix of "Rain Showers," by Jamaica's own Sizzla, owe much less to modern electronica than they do to reggae. Boozoo Bajou's "Drivers" and Seven Dub's "Rock It Tonight," while giving traditional sounds a modern cut-up interpretation and riding solid grooves, also push things a little farther with jazzy flourishes. Dub Selector offers a quality overview of various modern takes on a classic theme. (Quango)