I was recently asked by my friend Jim Lister to write a blurb about some of my favorite dub records for his recently launched Version blog, and since dub has always been a major influence in my life, I was more than happy to comply, and here is what I came up with:
For our 4th installment of Dub Influence, we have a man of many talents. In the late 90s, Cedric had his own dub themed radio show on the French airwaves called ‘Earthquake’ where he joined the dots between all styles of dub and dub influenced music. In true VERSION style! I first came across Cedric as part of the Voices DJ/party collective in the early 00s, and not long after as part of the Lucky Cloud sound system crew who put on the wicked David Mancuso Loft parties at The Light Bar in Shoreditch. There’s also Cedric’s legendary Beauty & The Beat crew who just last weekend celebrated their 10th anniversary with a very special party in East London. Cedric also spins and programmes the nights at the wonderful Brilliant Corners venue in Dalston, where VERSION takes place. Plus the man is also a hardcore triathlete! Multi-talented and then some. For his ‘Dub Influence’ chart, Cedric has blessed us with a truly epic selection of 20 tunes, so make yourself a cuppa and I’ll hand over to the man himself. Take it away Cedric…
1. Nora Dean – Angie La la (Treasure Isle, 1969)
Also known as “Ay Ay Ay”, though not exactly a dub record (this came out in 1969 after all!), this certainly sounds like nothing else, featuring reverb, echo, incomprehensible lyrics, bird whistles, mouth noises…some proto Black Ark wizardry right there! First heard played by Ade at Balance and a Beauty & the Beat classic ever since, this is as psychedelic as can be.
2. Lee Perry – Dreadlocks in Moonlight (Upsetters, 1976)
One of many Lee Perry masterpieces I could choose, one of the most important men in dance music history imho. ”Jah is I light and salvation, whom shall I fear?”
3. Twinkle Brothers – Free Africa Dub (Front Line Records, 1978)
Bought from Channel One sound system right after they played it at one of their carnival sessions. The crowd went mental. Sounded like techno in there.
4. Carlton Coffee – Chant Away (Boss Disco 1978)
Joel Martin played this during an after party at mine some years ago. Irresistible nyabinghi Jah music. Needless to say how ecstatic I was for the recent reissue.
5. Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Taxi, 1979)
Channel One sound system at carnival on Monday circa 6pm. Anthem.
6. Mikey Dread – Break Down the Walls (Dread at the Control, 1980)
Always had a soft spot for Mikey. Classic.
7. John Martyn – Big Muff (Island, 1981)
John Martyn produced by Lee Perry in the golden years of Island records. Out there and absolutely brilliant.
8. Aswad – Dub Fire (Island, 1982)
Heavy sound system tune that is, with an unforgettable bass line. This used to open many a blues dance during my spell in NYC in the late 90s.
9. Gwen Guthrie – Seventh Heaven (Larry Levan remix) (4th & Broadway, 1982)
Larry Levan and François K’s productions were equally influenced by dub, and gave us many a masterpiece. This is one the best mixes of all time imo.
10. King Sunny Ade – Ire (Island, 1983)
Afrobeat in dub by Sunny Ade on Island records. Voodoo magic.
11. Rolling Stones – Feel On Baby (instrumental dub) (Rolling Stones Records, 1983)
A rather unexpected dub excursion by the Stones, feat Sly Dunbar on percussion, played by Mancuso at the Loft.
12. Skunkadelique – Spinal Dread (Mankin Records, 1983)
Not much info on this one, an early 80s punk-dub affair on Virgin France that is really quite a bomb.
13. Wally Badarou – Mambo (Island, 1984)
The whole ‘Echoes’ LP is an ultimate ‘desert island’ album, recorded at Compass Point Studio where dub was pretty much the basis of every production. First heard on FK’s seminal Essential mix… this is a huge fave.
14. The Orb – Towers of Dub (Big Life, 1992)
Memories of my first paid DJ gig circa 95 where I played this to a strictly roots reggae crowd. This might not sound too adventurous but it was, and it worked!
15. African Head Charge – Heading to Glory (On-U-Sound, 1993)
Shamanic dub for the changa soldiers out there.
16. Revolutionary Dub Warriors – Warrior (On-U-Sound, 1994)
A bit of a secret weapon of mine, that still destroys all the right dance-floors. Super fat. On U Sound magic.
17. Fishmans –Walking In The Rhythm (Polydor, 1997)
My friend Nao got me the CD about 15 years ago and it has followed me in pretty much all my travels. Cult in Japan!
18. Zenzile – Alkaline O.D. (Crash Disques, 1999)
There was a big live dub scene in France in the late 90s, spearheaded by bands like High Tone and Zenzile. This is bass heavy and still very melodic… big memories of my student years.
19. Rhythm & Sound w/ Jah Batta – Music Hit You (Burial Mix, 2003)
Rhythm & Sound’s showcase cd was a staple in my car when it came out. This is not on it but it does hit you in all the right places indeed.
20. Prince Jazzbo – Replay version (Basic Replay, 2007)
Next level digital dub from the late 80s. Haunted and funky, way before dub step came along!