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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Various Artists

By Matt Scheiner
Published August 22, 2008

UK Dub Story

Although the UK dub scene is an underground, thriving beast unto itself, this collection from the Leicester-based Vibronics crew tells a somewhat sleepier story. With its overuse of synths and video game-like samples, sounds and rhythms, the music here hinges more on European house and club trends than on the tried-and-true dub style that reggae aficionados appreciate. “Tired Of The War” features frequent Mad Professor vocalist Macka B and starts out promising, but it devolves into a forced club dub—the casualty of a formula where atmospheric sounds meld with suggested reggae rhythms, muted bass patterns, and labored vamp chords on the down beat. “King’s Highway Dub,” featuring Jah Marnyah, sounds like it came straight out of the ’90s, but additional vocal help comes from Echo Ranks on “Long Time Dub,” which works out just fine, while “Night Storm” transcends the hoopla with traditional drumming, a simple guitar riff and heavy bass.