Category Archives: Dub

Police & Thieves, pt. 4

Jah Lion – “Soldier & Police War” (1976)

Here’s a dub toast of Junior Murvin’s “Police & Thieves” by Jah Lion. I like how this version emphasizes the weird marimba-type sound in the beginning of the track. Not sure exactly what that is. Here’s what the Lion has to say for himself:

“It’s like when I did the version to ‘Police & Thieves’ called “Soldier & Police War,’ it was an incident happen…That song came very quickly, usually in those days songs came very quick to me. Bongo Herman was in the studio at that time, so we let him do a part like when somebody running, like out of breath. Scratch laugh, and say he running from something, police want him or something. And then I say, ‘A soldierman pass through Jonestown…’ That was me and Bongo Herman together.”

Stay tuned for Police & Thieves, parts 5 and 6 over the next few days!

More versions of “Police & Thieves” on SWR (as well as some other choice reggae tracks)

Buy it here

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1970s, Dub, Reggae, Rocksteady

Police & Thieves, pt. 3

The Upsetters – “Grumblin’ Dub” (1976)

This is basically a concerto for reggae bass, with hi-hat and weird organ sounds for accompaniment. Please listen with a good set of cans, or a nice big stereo. That bass! This is one of the better dub tracks out there. The choices are inspired: what instruments to fade in and out, when and where the echoey ghosts of the original show up. Nice work, Scratch.

Stay tuned for the rest of “Police & Thieves” weekend!

Dub Along

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Filed under 1970s, Dub, Instrumental, Reggae, Rocksteady

Police & Thieves pt. 2

Glen LaCosta – “Magic Touch” (1976)

Saxophonist (I guess; just try Googling this guy) Glen LaCosta adds his magic touch to this dub version of Junior Murvin’s “Police & Thieves” (featured on SWR yesterday, in a weekend-long series). This version ups the treble on the hi-hat, makes the guitar echo a bunch, and takes out some of the deep bass. Very cool: Junior Murvin’s original backup vox, way in the background. In the second half, check out the off-beat saxophone. Stay tuned for at least FOUR more versions of “Police & Thieves.”

Jordy: what do you think you and I start sporting the shades pictured above?

Too bad LaCosta spells his first name incorrectly….

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1970s, Dub, Instrumental, Reggae, Rocksteady

“as if I had been dissolved into vapour…”

Brian Eno & David Byrne – “Mea Culpa” from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981)

The recently re-released Eno/Byrne collaboration predicted everything from The Books to, I dunno, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, and the Ghostbusters soundtrack. Redolent of Fela Kuti, Steve Reich, Miles, and Pink Floyd, the music nevertheless struck me like Bitches Brew did on first listen: where the hell did this come from? Psychedelic? Hell yes. Dub? Hell yes. Listen to this, one of My Life‘s more minimal tracks, and then think that these two guys made, between the two of them, about eight other top-notch records in the preceding six years.

Thanks to Steve K for turning me on to this.

Amazon is waiting

Surf the Bush of Ghosts

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Filed under 1980s, Dub, Experimental, Psychedelic, Rock

…worth two in the bush

Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry & The Upsetters – “Bird in Hand” from Return of the Super Ape (1978)

Some of the more haunting dub I’ve heard. See also Super Ape (1977), now released with its sequel on a double-disc set.

Buy Ol’ Scratch here

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Filed under 1970s, Dub, Experimental, Instrumental, Reggae