Reggae giant VP Records’ bargain priced dub series Evolution of Dub has served as a great way to pick up a number of excellent – and previously very had to find – dub albums. The latest volume Creationist Rebel is no exception.
But when most of the other volumes have also been a nice introduction to a producer and a mixing engineer, this seventh volume collects nearly all dub material from the chosen producer – acclaimed producer Joe Gibbs’ cousin Winston Edwards, who was born in Jamaica, but moved to the UK in the mid 70’s. When settled in London he started to travel back and forth to Jamaica producing music and trading records.
Creationist Rebel collects four Winston Edwards produced albums put out between 1974 and 1980 – Natty Locks Dub, King Tubby Meets The Upsetter At The Grass Roots Of Dub, King Tubby Surrounded By The Dreads At The National Arena and Dub Conference at 10 Downing Street. All of these are nearly impossible to find today, even though some of them have been reissued before.
Natty Locks in Dub was Winston Edwards’ debut album as a producer and is more an instrumental set with jazzy, soft flutes and easy skanking horn parts rather than a high voltage dub album. The effects are held to a minimum and the bass are somewhat turned up, but won’t disturb any neighbors.
Winston Edwards’ second album was the sparse and naked King Tubby Meets The Upsetter At The Grass Roots Of Dub, a set that introduced and helped to establish dub music in the UK and to an audience other than sound system followers. At the time of its release it was heavily marketed and put forward two of the best and most in-demand mixing engineers at the time, each of them got one side to flex his skills. This head-to-head style proved to be very popular with dancehall albums in the 80’s.
King Tubby Surrounded By The Dreads At The National Arena took its title from a concert at the National Arena in Kingston in 1975 when King Tubby’s sound system entertained the audience that was there to listen to The Wailers. The set includes a number of tracks from that particular session, including three vocals cuts from Melodian Tony Brevett, Prince Heron and Carvin Bradford. The boasting opening track I Am, I Am The King sets the tone.
UK musician, producer and mixing engineer Dennis “Blackbeard” Bovell teamed-up with Winston Edwards and The Well Pack Band for the eclectic Dub Conference at 10 Downing Street. This ten track album was released in 1980 and is an erratic effort showcasing Blackbeard’s idiosyncratic mixing style. It’s more exuberant and lively and adds more effects compared to the other three albums.
This colorful music box also includes a twelve page booklet featuring classic photos and images along with sleeve notes by reggae historian Noel Hawkes. King Tubby Meets The Upsetter At The Grass Roots Of Dub is also available on vinyl.