Rating: from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor) ---- Vocals: - Backing: 4 Production: 4 Sound quality: 4/5 Sleeve: 5
Jamaican dub music might be dead and burried (it is ages ago that a noteworthy dub album coming from the Island has been issued), it certainly isn't in other parts of the world as proven by Slade Anderson a.k.a. Burning Babylon out of Boston, Massachusetts.
In the past decade he has been working on his own dub projects -- deeply inspired and influenced by celebrated 1970s dub works of King Tubby, Scientist and Lee "Scratch" Perry -- which led to the release of five, mostly critical acclaimed albums including "Roots Heavy", "Garden Of Dub", "Dub Shack", "Knives To The Treble" and "Stereo Mash Up". With his latest effort entitled "Beat Beat Beat" he adds another worthwhile full length album to his discography.
Like in the heydays of vinyl releases, "Beat Beat Beat" contains 12 tracks and it really shouldn't be more as it often doesn't make sense to fill up a cd with 18 or 20 tracks. The album features a wide variety of riddims including Steppers, One Drop, Ska, and even Version, all of them created with the 'roots of dub' in mind. The drum and the heavy bass beat continue to be the driving force throughout, but on most tracks there's an emphasis on the keyboard reminiscent of the sound of the early 1970s created by for example Lee "Scratch" Perry.
One goes through various moods when listening to the sounds incorporated on this album, but above all it are the positive vibrations that dominate. It makes it a joyful listening experience from beginning to end with tracks such as "Below The B-line", "Wires To Riot", "Manuka Skank", "Rewind Deluxe" and the exceptional "Djungle" urging you to push the repeat button for them. However tomorrow it could be another selection, depending on the mood you're in.
All in all another very entertaining dub collection from Burning Babylon, presented in a well designed package.
**** (4 stars)
It's the fourth longplayer of this one man dub reggae project after "Knives to the Treble", "Stereo Mash Up" and "Garden of Dub". All these albums have received good reviews on this website and you can find them by using our new search engine *hint, hint*
"Beat Beat Beat" stays strictly in BB's rootical dubbing tradition and is the logical successor: 12 fresh dubs full of fat beats and basses, many playful melodies, heavy skanking and positive vibrations. Familiar sounds of the previous albums (I'd like to say: the good ones) are mixed with new sounds that you haven't heard on his previous albums (check "Djungle" for a good example).
Beatwise we get some tough steppers, some crucial one drops, even some ska riddims ("Manuka Skank" with some really cool skanks; Manuka by the way is a plant from New Zealand of which you get honey and a very strong etherial oil, it is argued whether the oil & honey have a healing functionality or not) and also a bit of unusual reggae beats like on my favourite tune "Thumpy Skunkz" which features some old schoolish breakbeat / hip hop beat. Dusty and muddy. Nice one.
Generally, BB's albums always bring some kind of good mood, at least for me. It is not really my prefered style of dub as you all might know but it always leaves me feeling a bit more relaxed as usual and the wrinkles on my forhead ease-off when I listen to his albums. ;) "Bashe & the Tiger" is such an example, again with some groovy beats and a lot of positive energy, it's like a toy car for a young boy who is just happy playing around with it.
"System a Vampire" is another of these tunes that just have a certain something, again, it's mainly the really crispy beats here that make a difference. In combinaton with the very deep bass, I feel reminded of Bill Lasweel's explorations into the dubby orbit.
All in all, Burning Babylon delivered once again a serious piece of dub works on "Beat Beat Beat" which fits perfectly into his series of roots dub. Fans of his style will surely love it, others who are interested in an easy-going, entertaining rootical dub album, should definitely visit for more information.