After the release of Capital Letters’ seminal Wolverhampton – their first album in 30 years – comes its dub companion Wolverhampton in Dub, a 17 track set – including three alternate versions – mixed by Dave “Oldwah” Sandford.
Wolverhampton received several positive reviews and Dave Sandford got a free card when mixing this new album, so the set comes with extra everything and he doesn’t pull any breaks when it comes to adding audio effects and sonic wizardry.
And dub is a great genre for such sonic adventures since there are no rules, no norms and no manuals. When Dave Sandford strips the song and handles the mixing desk details get major exposure and minor elements suddenly play a key part.
However, Wolverhampton in Dub is not an experimental dub album. It has the usual deep and heavy bass and drums along with several secondary instruments playing an integral part of the music. The keys on Wolf are one example, and the bass on Roots Music sounds like it has been in and out of the tumble dryer.
With its 17 cuts Wolverhampton in Dub provides you with a truckload of dub for your money.
UK reggae legends Capital Letters reformed in 2013 and it hasn’t taken them much long to get back in the business and they have already announced a number of live dates in 2015.
Last year Reggae Archive Records released a set titled Reality, an effort collecting 15 tracks originally recorded in 1985, but not out until last year. And now they have a brand new set on Reggae Archive Records’ sister label Sugar Shack Records to share with their audiences around the world.
Wolverhampton is the first all new Capital Letters album in 30 years. It has been preceded by the rootsy single Wolf, which was – just like all other cuts – recorded together with former Taxi Gang and Maytals keyboard player Noel Browne. He has previously worked with artists like Luciano, Freddie McGregor, The Wailing Souls and Papa San.
This set is mainly roots themed and it kicks off in fine style with no less than three hard hitting roots gems in a row. But even though Wolverhampton revolves around politics and conscious messages the music is often upbeat with memorable melodies. Capital Letters also manage to throw in a number of more heartfelt tunes. The title track is one such and Jamaica and Movie Star are two others.
A number of UK reggae bands from the 70s and 80s have recently reformed and most of them have presented solid sets after leaving the music industry for many, many years. Wolverhampton is one such effort and it doesn’t sound like Capital Letters have been away for 30 years.