Versa – “Seed” – [ZamZam Sounds]

rasbabo   4/27/2022   7-inch, Reggae

Another great release on Zam Zam. Instrumental spacy dub for top shelf enthusiasts. Side A- ‘Seed’ is a high-energy sativa-esque up-tempo 130 bpm four on the floor dub stepper, that dips and darts smoothly through time.

Side B- ‘Plant’ is an indica-induced dream-state meditation, running at half time of its counterpart. Plodding bass and hypnotizing melodica eerily gives a nod to Augustus Pablo, but this is music for this decade of dub, these times. Rough and gritty, raw and powerful. Photosynthesize your Dub.

King Jammy – “King Jammy Destroys the Virus with Dub” – [Greensleeves Records Ltd.]

rasbabo   4/26/2022   12-inch, Reggae

Basically the title says it all. From deep within the Laboratory of Dub, King Jammy and his assistants discovered that the virus is sensitive to heavy drums, bass, and echoing effects. The split screen artwork shows the evolution from the lab to the hi-tech dub roving assault vehicle that shoots laser beams of dub directly into the virus. Luckily for humankind, we have KJ on the scene.

Old school riddims ramped up and remixed for 2022. Heavy bass, sharp snares, rattling hi-hats, lots of cool FX, but never over-cooked. A verse or two of vocals are scattered in and out, but mostly instrumentals. The musicians aren’t listed, so we’ll have to dig deeper for that. I’m sure Fauci can’t dispute this, these dubs are just what the Doctor ordered.

Dub Now to Save Humanity.

Ras Babo

Mungo’s Hi- Fi – “Serious Time” – [Scotch Bonnet]

rasbabo   2/7/2018   12-inch, Reggae

Mungo’s Hi-Fi Serious Times
Electro-Dancehall style reggae. Mungo’s Hi-Fi comes out of Scotland, but sounds like they are straight outta Kingston, JA. Great line-up of vocalists with many styles and dope rhythms from the sound system. DJs on the decks dropping bomb tracks, and MCs on the mics with excellent flows and vocals. Sides A and B are highlighted by female vocalists Warrior Queen, Soom T, and Marina, who help balance things out and add a sweet flava to a scene often dominated by dudes.
Sides C and D the Dudes are back in control and strutting their stuff. Cornell Campbell is a recognizable name on the last track, but all cuts are strong.
Ras Babo

Good Time Aussie Bogalars – “a Slab of Liquid Cunt” – [Lab, The]

rasbabo   9/14/2016   12-inch, A Library

Angry Australians hold nothing back. Harsh punk and metal stylings underlie FCC laden rants about those who inspire them. Vile, rude, offensive.
Good variety in the music. Some cuts are fast, jabbing, knife fights. Others are more drawn-out metal sludgy grinders.Yet the message remains crystal clear through-out: Go fuck off.
My personal fave is Reg Grundy- a song about a guy who never changes his underwear.
I think the LP cover is scratch and sniff.
Ras Babo

*Guerrero, Tommy* – “Perpetual” – [Too Good Records]

rasbabo   9/14/2016   A Library, CD

Tommy Guerrero plays all the instruments, seems like primarily bass and guitar, and has drummer Chuck Treece join him on a few tracks. Mostly though it’s Tommy and his thoughts, slow down-tempo dreamy tracks with enough reverb to sound “surfy” but not enough to be considered surf.
Several tracks harken me back to the Blktop Project album reviewed earlier this year, but that album has more accompaniment and more giddyup. This is a trip in the slow lane to a serene washed-out landscape.
This would work for the Pulp Fiction scene when Vincent drives his Malibu on heroin. Or go put on your sepia glasses and have some absinthe.
Either way, most tacks are around 4 minutes, so it’s easy to take a bite, and not feel too full.
Ras Babo

Blktop Project – “Concrete Jungle” – [Too Good]

rasbabo   6/29/2016   A Library, CD

Take an Afro-beat infused rhythm section, add basslines dripping in funk, stir in the freedom of jazz improv, and a sporadic wash of psychedelic guitar. Garnish with a hint of melodica. This absolutely rules.

Get sucked into the wash of the churning bass grooves and great drumming. Even the slower tracks will have you bobbing your head and swaying in time. All tracks are solid.

Psychedelic Schafferson Jetplane – “Foxtrot Sierra’s Surfin’ Krautlifornia” – [Bym]

rasbabo   4/6/2016   12-inch, A Library

Lots of guitars with lots of effects. Gritty, crunchy, hard-driving at times, spacey and tripped out at other times. It’s surf meets psych meets Top Gun meets acid flashback. Judging by the cover I thought it would be more chaotic, but it’s very accessible. A blend of styles that should lend itself well to many different shows.
Sea, land or air. You choose your mode of transportation and we’ll see you on the other side.
Ras Babo

Capital Letters – “Vinyard” – [VP Records]

rasbabo   4/6/2016   12-inch, Reggae

Capital Letters is a British reggae group and this album was originally released in 1982. Reissued for us again in 2015, this is a solid album. Good smooth musicianship and rootsy vocals. Lyrics sing about political injustices and inequalities of the times without sounding preachy or overly “Rastafied”.

I heard influences in the vocal styles of Mighty Diamonds or Israel Vibration, and also a slight haziness like Singers and Players. All tracks are solid, but I wish they had included some bonus dub versions. Alas, enjoy the roots.

Ras Babo

King of Dub – “S/t” – [Clocktower Records]

rasbabo   3/23/2016   12-inch, Reggae

King Of Dub is an old- school assembly of all the heavy hitters, inspired by Lee Perry and Bunny Lee productions. Check the line-up and you will see a star studded cast. Crunchy thumping bass and drums dominate in fine fashion. Straight outta Channel One studios and then edited at Bullwackie’s. It’s raw and sweet, unrefined and super deep.

It’s hard to go wrong with any of these cuts. Twist up a spliff and let it rip.

Ras Babo


Alborosie and King Jammy – “Dub of Thrones” – [VP Records]

rasbabo   3/23/2016   12-inch, Reggae

What is old is now what is new.

In the spirit of the show Game of Thrones, we take an old theme of knights and ladies, and make it modern to suit our current tastes. Old school dub styles meet modern recording methods. Not heavily synthed out, still very real-rock and Rasta, but none of the scratchy and crunchiness we get from vintage vault recordings.

I didn’t know much about Alborosie, but he has several releases under his belt, and is a fitting partner to join the master King Jammy. They alternate cuts, reminiscent of the albums like the Big Showdown.

A-1 and B-5 have vocals, the rest is smooth stoney dub instrumentals.

Ras Babo

Universal Togetherness Band s/t CD (2014)

rasbabo   2/3/2015   CD, Soul

What started as a house band for Columbia College audio engineering program in Chicago, grew to be a dissertation for seventh year senior and band leader Andre Gibson. The tapes went missing for over twenty years, and then surfaced to give life to this album.
Good energy soul and R&B with a tiny dash of disco thrown in to make you shake your booty, but not enough to make you run away. (It was the 70’s by the way)
Good raw energy and smooth musicianship, not overblown or overproduced. All tracks are solid.
Dig it.
Ras Babo

Durag Dynasty- 360 Waves (2013) Hip Hop 12 inch lp

rasbabo   2/2/2015   12-inch, A Library, Hip Hop

Durag Dynasty (Doo-Rag) is new to me but after
hearing this album I would be willing to be sized
for the appropriate headwear. Heavy flows and
abstract beats. Not much dancing here, but a bit of
head bobbing. ‘Topper’ rap about how these MC’s
are better than the rest. Beats are samples and loops
that work as backbones for the lyricists and their
guests, some fatter than others.
Good tunes for when you’re sitting at the gas
station, sippin a cold one, waiting for your crew to
I liked sides C and D most. (Tracks 9-15)

Bog Oak- A Treatise on Resurrection and the Afterlife (EP 45 rpm)

rasbabo   1/22/2015   A Library

Bog Oak-
A Treatise on Resurrection and the
Afterlife (EP 45 rpm)
Dark brooding metal sludge bog core. Your
passage into the swamps of the abyss.
Screaming, harsh vocals coupled with a
dark angel’s voice makes for an eerie calland
-response tandem.
Heavy guitars, pounding drums, and a oneway
ticket into the wood chipper.
Play it loudly, Cythoth would want it that
Ras Babo

Plaid- Reachy Prints (2014)

rasbabo   1/22/2015   A Library

Plaid- Reachy Prints (2014)
Electronics of many descriptions and layers,
but with a cinematic and orchestral bend
rather than pounding dance tunes. Slow,
pensive tracks that create somber moods
and drift in and out of dreamscapes.
Tracks 4 and 7 have some giddyup, and for
me the highlights of this CD.
It’s too slow even for the chill room, maybe
for the Ketamine hole if you’re spending the
In his defense, he really fills up the space,
maximizing the frequency range from super
high tweets and squeaks to wall-shaking
Ras Babo

Luc Ferrari ???Unheimlich Sch??n???- 1971

rasbabo   1/22/2015   A Library

Luc Ferrari
???Unheimlich Sch??n???- 1971
Unheimlich, german for : uncanny,
scary, eerie, incredible???.
Sch??n, german for : beautiful, nice,
15:40 track of musique concrete.
A simple statement, spoken barely above a
whisper, repeated many times with space
intentionally left in between. You hear the
breathing of the speaker, and she seems to
move about the room saying the same thing
but in an eerie uncanny way. The voice rises
and falls, takes on a bit of echo, and the
layers begin to build upon themselves. The
breathing strengthens and fades out. The
voice echoes and returns and fades away.
The interplay between the two is like a
crank phone call from beyond the grave. I
expected a skeleton hand to reach through
the speaker and gently wipe my hair away
from my face.

Ras Babo

Luciano – “Messenger” – [Island Jamaica]

rasbabo   1/7/2015   12-inch, Reggae

Luciano- Messenger
The second studio album from Luciano, released in
1996, which resulted in him being anointed as the
best vocalist in the Jamaican reggae scene, a title
which has lasted him ever since. Formed out a style
reminiscent of Freddie McGregor or Barrington
Levy, he has a fantastic tenor voice, excellent
riddims, and delivers a positive Rastafari message
in a time when many vocalists were relying on a
more ???slack style???. Soulful, uplifting, and musically
Ras Babo

rasbabo   11/11/2014   A Library

Black Uhuru- ???Tear It Up??? (Live)

The classic BU lineup of Michael Rose, Puma Jones and Duckie Simpson on vocals, backed by the legendary rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare on drums and bass.
Mikey Chung and Darryl Thompson on guitars, Keith Sterling on keyboards and Sky Juice on percussion round out the band.
This show was recorded on the ???Red??? tour in 1981. This album has tracks from the first three BU albums, which is slimmed down slightly from the video by the same name.

This ‘aint no Sponji Reggae, spin and twirl your dreads ganja-head fun party.
No. This is a heavy, somber set of soulful wailing vocals and heavy brooding basslines. With songs about prostitutes, abortion, prison, hypocrites, the after-life, and heavy Rasta realism, this is the real deal of life in the ghetto of Jamaica.
The band is in top form, and this is the time period before they really shot to the top of the reggae world in the mid-eighties.
In this album, the whole is far greater than the sum of it’s parts.

???Leaving to Zion??? is my personal fave here, but all songs are solid.
Songs 1 and 2 on side A track into each other, but it’s worth it.

Throw away your cigarettes and light up your spliff.
One of my top 10 reggae albums of all-time.

Ras Babo

Blackhouse – “Blackhouse, The” – [Fatbeats]

rasbabo   4/9/2014   CD, Hip Hop

The Blackhouse-
???He do the cuts She do the beats??? DJ Romes and Georgia Anne Muldrow
A cool LP with funky beats and samples. Some tracks remind of of city sidewalk breakdancers bustin
moves on the cardboard. Others are deeper and stonier. Drop the needle and pick your potion.
My only regret is that some of the tracks are short; they get to the hook, roll on it a while and then fade
out. Wish they went further with some of these grooves, or bridged a few together.
Still good, still dope.
I liked the title track and the B-side most.
When America crashes and burns, we’ll all be in the Blackhouse.
Ras Babo

Ellen Allien- Remix Collection [coll] – [Asphodel]

rasbabo   4/9/2014   A Library, CD

Ellen Alien – Remix Collection
Ellen Alien is a towering star on the Berlin club DJ scene. Also an acclaimed producer she has taken tracks from the b-pitch control / Asphodel label and created a sweet compilation that is more like a true DJ set. The plus side for us is that the tracks have breaks, allowing us to cue up and get out of them easily.

Some tracks are instrumental, others with vocal samples, and a couple with more pronounced vocals.

The earlier tracks are slightly minimal and subdued, and the set builds up strongly, churning you under and spitting you out in her wake. Only a few tracks have the typical techno 4/4 pound, most have more devious syncopation and irregular rhythms. All tracks are strong.
Ras Babo


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