Oku Onuora Dubbin’ Away

Hailed as one of the greatest Dub Poets of Jamaica, Okua Onuora reminds us here of the beauty of his music, usually the black velvet backdrop for his rough diamond poetry. This is a dub mission, vaguely reminiscent of Prince Far I, but with a more refined, scientific edge to the amazing blends of rhythm, delay, echo and reverb. His music and poetry are socially conscious and are fuelled by an eight-year spell in the Jamaican General Penitentiary (for stealing from a post office in an attempt to raise money for a community school). Ranked alongside poets Linton Kwesi Johnston and Mutaburuka, Onuora has always combined his lyrical flows with the best musicians available for his dubs. Dubbin’ Away is likely the finest dub album released this summer; it contains deep, tough, bass-filled rhythms with drool-worthy instrumentals of all kinds and short snippets of Onuora’s sensitive, hard-edged poetry scattered throughout. “Ruff Dub” features Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, “Cumin Dub” features Aston Barrett, but the real highlights are in the instrumentals, with the likes of Hugh Pape on sax and flute, and Ras Bonito on druse harp. If you like drums, this has a wonderful blend of jimbes, congos, bongos and hand drums. Gracefully executed and impeccably remastered from Onuora’s best old dubs, Dubbin’ Away is a must-have for dub collectors and reggae fans alike. (ROIR)