Tuesday, May 30, 2006

more on Dub Master X

some kind soul on Yahoo! Auctions here in Japan is selling a set of 10 of the "Dub Wa Crazy" 7"s. Here's the list:

Vol.1 ( NC−2024 ): Don’t Slave the America / Who is the Master?
Vol.2 ( NC−2031 ): Mr. Dub Master X / Sentimental Dub
Vol.3 ( NC−2034 ): Early in the Morning / They are Only 200 Years
Vol.4 ( NC−2035 ): What the Hell Do They Want any More? / Run away Dub
Vol.5 ( NC−2037 ): Monster Dub / Dub Dancin’
Vol.6 ( NC−2038 ): Rotten Oranges / Dub Family
Vol.7 ( NC−2039 ): What We Needed / You Shouldn’t be in the Park
Vol.8 ( NC−2047 ): 日常のDub ( Morning Book Mix ) / 日常のDub ( North Village Mix )
Vol.9 ( NC−2048 ): Changeless / You is Perfect
Vol.10( NC−2049 ): Falling Love with DUB / Tokyo Duv story

The kanji in #8 translate to everyday/ordinary.

9 I've mentioned before, 5's guest is "Emmerson Kitamura", 8 features Asamoto Hirofumi of Ram Jam World and "Emmerson Kitamura" again. No. 10 rounds out the celebrity guestlist with "Pianica Maeda"

For those who care, DMX's name is Miyazaki Izumi.

Monday, May 29, 2006

pressing vinyl

Its my understanding that all small labels in japan get records pressed overseas. There are only one or two pressing plants here and they only deal with Avex, Sony and the like. I got my records pressed from United Record Pressing in the USA. I'm very happy with the result.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Japanese dub mixers

Sad thing is I only know of two "name" mixers here and only one of em is still active.

There was Dub Master X who did the Mute Beat records, but he want on to do a bunch of mostly weak dance record remixing.

The other I know of is Naoyuki Uchida, he did at least the Dry & Heavy records and I know he did the live mix for the African Head Charge live in Japan CD that came out just a while back. Hes also associated with Flying Rhythms, KTY and Little Tempo. May have mixed an Asian Dub Foundation track and probably lots of other records. Naoyuki Uchida's sound is pretty much "traditional" but he does know when to let go and let the delays feedback till yer crown pops. Definitely a man to listen to.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dub Syndicate vs Roots Radics Round 2

This one continues to mystify me and I suspect I'll end up writing about it again after this.

How the hell can the same band and sometimes the same riddims end up sounding so damn different? I dont just mean different versions/mixes, I mean so damn completely different. Again I'm gonna come back to Scientist vs Sherwood as part of it but not the whole. Scientist pretty much defined his sound by the time of the "meets the" series and probably before. Its a good sound, but workmanlike, almost predictable. Sherwoods sound keeps changing but in a way I cant describe yet, its got a signature.

I find myself going back to "African Landing" and hearing something new more times than not. You cant even find the same sounds in the two DS & LSP albums. The drums on "Let The Spirit Rise" sound unlike anything else I know of in reggae or dub. I'm guessing theres the usual delays, compression, gated reverbs and possibly ring filters giving that song its sound. Its probably no coincidence that the two that came to mind right off are from Murder Tone.

Scientist has his shining moments with the Roots Radics, "Fission" (Scientist Meets The Space Invaders) and "Your Teeth In My Neck" (Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires), but to me some of his best work has been thinks like "Dub Of The Traveler" (Armagedeon Time ridim, can be found on the bargain package "Dub Reggae") and "Yes Yes Yes Dub" (You Dont Love Me ridim, "Ranking Dread In Dub" CD). I have no idea who the backing band on either of those two is. None of his work on Dub Syndicate's "Pure Thrill Seekers" or "No Bed Of Roses" really stick in my mind at all (the CD is somewhere so I cant quickly look to see which tracks Scientist did on those two).

OK, but that doesnt make my point at all. Heres the part I dont know, theres something which eliminates the producer from the product and thats the quality of the source tapes he gets to work with and how much gets added afterwards. Im of the over/standing that even though Dub Syndicate was considered the "house band" of On-U, often as not, Style Scott would just send 2" tapes from JA to the UK for Sherwood to mix. I dont know if the same practice has been done with Scientist in MD, USA or not. Whether or not the producer/mixdown engineer works with our without the musicians who recorded the tracks can make all the difference. What else is hard to guess at is how much gets overdubbed past what was on the 2".

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Dub Syndicate vs Roots Radics

If you already know these two names for the same band you maybe wonder how I say "VS"

Saaaaaaa... Downpressor yuh crazy, dem same band

Yeah but... white grapes taste different from red grapes right?

See heres the thing, I associate Roots Radics dubs with Scientist and Dub Sydicate with Adrian Sherwood. People usually think that Dub Syndicate is always On-U Sound with Adrian Sherwood on the controls, but look at the last few Dub Syndicate releases. They on Style Scott's own Lion & Roots label and at least 50% mixed by Scientist. Style Scott done gone and diluted his brand by doing that.

Scientist done some of his best work with the Style Scott centered Roots Radics. Check the credits of any Scientist record, you see it.

Now I aint setting up a soundclash between Sherwood & Scientist in my head, such a clash could never end till both men were down bleeding on their reverbs and no one could be declared the winner. But you see thing is, Scientist mixing a Dub Syndicate release is like ordering pizza in Japan. It might be tasty but its gonna have stuff that dont belong on pizza except in a world run by a madman. What comes off the tape may be good dub, but it aint quite what I ordered.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Have to start somewhere so I'll start at the end.

Just listened to Version City Rockers - Version Dub Clash. Cant tell you about the people on this record, but I can tell you its pretty good. Probably you can find it through Jammyland.

Should tell you about a Japanese dub record since this is "Dubbing in Tokyo". You may never find this 7", but Dub Master X's "Dub Wa Crazy Vol. 9" has a good A side and a dull B side. The A side is almost a secret Mute Beat record since it features the horn of "Echo" Kodama on the lead with DMX on the mix. The B side is just an unfortunate example of local hiphop/dancehall boringness with "You The Rock".

Mighty Massa recently put out a new CD, "Zion Gates". Nice piece of plastic. Good release party at Unit last saturday for the CD, Earl 16 put in a stage appearance as well as Ras Kanto from Dubsensemania. See I like Dubsensemania even though they arent really heavy heavy reggae, they have a good sound thats unique and they do credit to the Japanese reggase scene. The only thing I can say is its too bad they are on Sony Records since all new domestic Sony releases are Copy Control CDs. Even if I owned something that could play that, I wouldnt buy it on general principal. Cant blame the band tho, so buy their vinyl if you come across it.

Iration Steppas were in the area the week before last. Good show, much bass, nuff respect to that UK crew!

Last but not least, my new 7" "Sevens Dub Four/Step by Steppers" is out on pre-release at Jammers Record shop in Shibuya. Jammers is the only place to get it for at least a month.