There’s a nice backstory as to why this collaborative release came into being. During lockdown Adam Prescott (Reggae Roast) was working on tracks that he was sending to Dougie Wardrop (Conscious Sounds) for feedback when a particular track caught Dougie’s attention (which went on to become ‘Dub Chant’ featured on his album). Dougie was interested in collaborating but wanted a second opinion on the tune before committing his involvement and who better to provide this than the mighty Jah Shaka himself. Shaka accordingly gave it the thumbs up which sealed the deal and the result is this very fine 10 track LP that follows in the footsteps of other classic dub head-to-head albums in bringing together a producer who brings their rhythms (Adam) and an engineer who brings their mixing board expertise (Dougie).
Proceedings kick off with melodica driven ‘Meditate On Dub’ which provides a welcome update on the classic dub sound championed by the likes of Augustus Pablo setting the scene nicely for the rest of the album by connecting contemporary sound system friendly dub to its Jamaican roots. This is followed by the Shaka approved ‘Dub Chant’ which ups the tempo and brings in more modern influences through the looping vocal sample and the addition of a pleasingly squiggly 303 acid bassline. The pace then calms slightly with ‘Vibes Dub’ which is a real stand out track combining beautiful heartfelt vocals with a rolling heavy bassline to produce an expertly executed update on the classic roots sound. Next up is the epic ‘The Message Dub’ which brings together synths and strings to devastating effect – a proper emotional stepper. Finally the A-side is brought to a close by the sound system stomper ‘Foot Flinger Dub’ which you know is going to sound real sweet on a big rig. Tough vocals, a prowling bassline and some militant drum patterns prove a winning combination.
Flip the record over and things start off nice and mellow with ‘Hot Valve Dub’ which despite being more contemplative still keeps the bass pressure at maximum which is nicely offset by some beautiful cascading synths. Things stay dark and mystical for ‘Super Scoop Dub’ which is given a unique psychedelic twist through the addition of some 60’s inspired organ provided by Guilaume Metenier. The melodica then makes a welcome return on ‘Pre-Amp Dub’ where it provides the perfect accompaniment to the pensive rootsy vocals beamed back from the depths of the echo chamber. This is followed by the warm ambient dub of ‘Run The Dub’ which is driven by some lovely laid back melodies. The album’s finale is fittingly provided by “Lights On Dub.’ A lovely end of night anthem that brings together traditional instrumentation and some punchy bass driven production all topped off with an expert selection of dub effects.
When you get the Shaka seal of approval you know you’re onto something special and that’s certainly the case with ‘The Dub Session.’ The rich tradition of dub production that now stretches back half a centrury.is given a very welcome contemporary update resulting in a collection of tracks where the unifying factor is plenty of seismic earth shaking bass and hopefully it won’t be long until we can hear these tunes the way they were intended - in front of a big speaker stack.
Full review by Tom Dubwise - Dubwise Vinyl - Check instagram.com/dubwisevinyl for more