In May last year I received the debut album from a band called Zvuloon Dub System. I didn’t pay much attention to the release at the time, but a few days ago I decided to give it a spin since I received their latest 12” with Cornell Campbell. And I’m glad I gave it that spin. Because Freedom time is a certified show-stopper.
Zvuloon Dub System is an eight piece band from Israel. They’re competent musicians and the rootsy and creeping riddims are tight and well-played. The secret ingredient, and the album’s main strength, is however the excellent horn section that is given plenty of space throughout the eleven tracks (ten on the LP version).
All but one – a cover version of Jimi Hendrix’ Voodoo Chile – are originals with a sound reminiscent of downtown Kingston in the mid 70’s. Sometimes it’s bright and uplifting, as Tell Me Tell, and sometimes it’s dark and introspective, as in Go Down Moses. But there are also strokes of soul and jazz in the breezy African Drums and several of the songs floats into a dub version.
It’s truly a blessing to discover great new acts and dynamite albums, especially when they are as solid as Zvulooon Dub System and Freedom Time.