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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
King Tubby and Tommy McCook & The Agrovators
King Tubby Meets The Aggrovators at Dub Station
Trojan

Rating: 7.7/10 ?


July 2, 2007
Dub is one of the finest sub-genres to ever evolve from reggae; with its trademark hard beats, reverbs and echoes, it is both danceable and experimental by nature. Revered as a sheer genius behind the decks, King Tubby is the popularly ordained godfather of dub. Originally released in 1975 via the Live and Learn imprint, which was a subsidiary of the respected Third World label, King Tubby Meets The Agrovators at Dub Station (the word "aggravators" is misspelled on the record cover) was one of those standard albums never issued beyond the vinyl format, relegated to the specialist and DJ bins, but has now been released on compact disc for the first time.

The original album featured 12 tracks, many of which would eventually be found included in the myriad of King Tubby collections out there, both in better and worse versions. With the individual tracks floating around already, a no-fanfare digital reissue of King Tubby Meets The Agrovators at Dub Station simply wouldn't do; the horses at Trojan saw fit to attach a whooping 12 bonus tracks. The added materials, mostly far more obscure than the original dozen cuts but featuring Tommy McCook's saxophone, are perhaps the most compelling reason to check this release out. Those uninitiated in the world of dub shouldn't feel intimidated by talk of vinyl-only, obscure collector's cuts and rare bonus gems, however, as The Agrovators at Dub Station offers a potent introduction for people new to the genre as well as shelling out some diamonds for die-hard fans.

Standout tracks like "Inspiring Dub" (also featured on the collection King Tubby's Studio vs. Channel One Studio In Dub under the title "Introducing Crucial Bunny From Channel One", a version that's even dubbier than this one) and "An Aggravating Dub" are tunes that will convert anyone into a fan of King Tubby, and it is also uplifting to hear Tubby and McCook's versions of a number of better-known songs. Keep in mind that these aren't merely covers, as the very nature of dub is defined by re-recording and remixing songs many times over. Dub is also a medium for artists to create something that can be subdued without being underwhelming, and The Agrovators at Dub Station's basic feel, with Tommy McCook's saxophone guiding the way through King Tubby's engineering, is indicative of this as well. Where King Tubby is concerned, basic is meant in a good sense, where the channeled joy of the musicians is palpable as well as audible, and the lust for experimentation of the man behind the decks charges each track.

Even if you have a lot of King Tubby (or even tracks from the original LP version) in your collection, you should check out King Tubby Meets The Agrovators at Dub Station. For seasoned dub listeners the chances of finding something new within the disc's bonus materials are good, and newcomers should be warned straight away; this release will leave you with a desire for more, much more.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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