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".


Blogger Lee said...

I feel like Dub Syndicate in the immaculate hands of Mr. Sherwood are another beast entirely. Some spiritual manueverings gwaan. Roots Radics lay out the jams in whoever's hands. Scientist is world class, but so are the Junjo treatments. Don't know who really mixes the Roots Radics albums credited to Jah Thomas, but I wish I did. Those are really great. Also am digging the Roots Radics on "King Tubby's Rockers" (Trojan Rec.).

12:18 PM  

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