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Dub Colossus’ third album reinforces its roots in a declaration of dub

Judging by their first two album

A Town Called Addisand Addis Through the Looking Glass, it was fair to say that Dub Colossus did not live up to their namesake. Here was a band that drew inspiration from their Ethiopian heritage, fusing contemporary Ethio-jazz with traditional violin and vocal techniques. Dub Me Tenderaims to reinforce the band’s dub roots, swapping their Addis/Alice trademark for a dub/love theme.

Dub Me Tender reworks a selection of songs from the band’s first two albums in a tradition that goes back to the origins of dub – taking an original, emphasising the drums and bass, and then warping it with echo and reverb to create something new. The faint dub elements of the originals have been pumped up, thanks largely to producer Nick ‘Dubulah’ Page taking a more central role. And, in true spirit of dub, the result is far from a cheap regurgitation.

The crew are joined by two British exports: Mykaell Riley, an original singer for the Birmingham roots reggae group Steel Pulse, and Nick Van Gelder, a session drummer associated with Camden’s Acid Jazz movement. A mostly instrumental album, as dub should be, Riley surfaces on Stop! In The Name of Dub, a standout track with a clear Ethio-jazz twang. Dub Me Tender is a much needed addition to the discography of Dub Colossus; it may not be a colossal statement for such a bass-heavy genre, but it is great dub nonetheless.

Dub Me Tender was released on February 6, 2012, by Real World Records.

The Dub Colossus Sound System will be performing live in the UK throughout 2012, featuring Mykaell Riley, Nick Van Gelder and The Horns of Negus.

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