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SmokeSummersA-Sway – Mos Dub

In Album Reviews, Worldwide on April 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Mos Dub is a remix project by Max Tannone (who brought us the Jaydiohead project). Tannone mixes classic Dub reggae tracks with lyrics from Mos Def. If there were prizes for knowing the ‘classic’ Dub tracks, I would lose heavily, my knowledge barely stretching beyond the more popular LPs from The Upsetters (though to be fair, the blogosphere doesn’t exactly seem to be finding it that easy either).

Now, these type of things can be hit an’ miss. Jaydiohead for example, had some great moments, and some lesser ones, and occasionally felt a little contrived. None of those accusations can be levelled at this record. It just feels like it was meant to be. The sounds of 70s dub behind the Def’s voice really does work, in fact it sounds like an original piece of work, like the production and vocals were written by one band.

In terms of the songs, ‘Johnny Two Beef’, ‘History Town’, ‘Shroud the Stars’, ‘Kampala Truth Work’, and the beautifully chilled out ‘Hurricane Black’ are the most successful mixes. The factor they all share in common, is that the Dub sounds overrule the Hip-Hop sounds; a Dub band with rap, not hip-hop produced by Lee Scratch Perry. Of all of them, ‘History Town’ is my favourite. The song genre hops like a hopscotchin’ rabbit (dub-pop-hop anyone?) and would work just as well played on $500 headphones or a shitty pair of portable iPod speakers – which means it’s a song for the summer time. Lounge on the grass, fire up the BBQ, and think how fun it would be to dance to this…if you could only be bothered to get up.

The whole album is up for free download from Max Tannone himself – here.

Johnny Two Beef:

History Town:

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  1. new I’d heard ‘Johnny You’re Too Bad’ from somwhere. I heard the studio version of Johnny You’re Too Bad by the Slickers from the film ‘The Harder they Come’, starring Jimmy Cliff.

    • i think the version of ‘johnny to bad’ on this was by ‘byron lee and the drangonaires’. Does anybody know what the name of the track is mixed on history town?

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