Various Artists: Babylon Is Ours - The USA In Dub
An All-Exclusive Collection of American Dub Flavors
selected by DJ SEP and RON NACHMANN
Select Cuts SC2009

About the CD:

The whole idea was pretty simple, really. We were convinced that loads of American artists were tracing dub's global lineage: from the late-'60s and early-'70 experiments of Tubby, Jammy, Scratch, and others in their Kingston studios; through to London's late-'70s and '80s take via producers like Adrian Sherwood and Mad Professor; on into the digital era's UK steppers phase presided over by Jah Shaka; and further into the music's spread throughout the rest of Europe. As the millennium turned, the explosion of dub compilations spotlighting artists from Britain, Germany, France and elsewhere led us to conclude that the virus had to have spread deeply into the body of Babylon herself. Via our work with publications like the electronic music and culture magazine XLR8R and the long-standing six-year-plus San Francisco club night Dub Mission, we'd been exposed to a myriad of talented artists from this country who were criminally underexposed. We were positive that with bands like Ben Wa, Tino Corp, and Systemwide knocking around on the West Coast, and East Coast concerns like the Organic Grooves posse and Avatars of Dub carrying on the late-'90s dubwise legacy, there was more than enough material out here to justify a collection of tunes by American-based dub artists.

And we were right. We found that American artists offer an exceptionally diverse take on the sonic ideals of this mystical genre. Just pop this bad bwoy into your player, and absorb these 12 exclusive tracks for the dubwise revelations that they are. From the gently stepping "Warrior Style" by Nashville/New York's Phase Selector and the sunbaked "Prisoner of Dub" by Texas's Sub Oslo, to the now-school dub 'n' bass mash-up of "Uptown Jungle" by Washington DC's Avatars of Dub and the skank-bounce of "Distant" by NYC's Zeb, it's clear that these producers hold sacred the freedom principles first fomented in those cloudy studios in yard a generation ago. We present this first chapter of American dub as both a manifesto and a challenge. With recent history in mind, we hope to see the United States reach for a place in the world rather than over it. We believe that cultural work like the material we present here is crucial for that process to continue.
- Ron Nachmann

DJ SEP of the San Francisco club night Dub Mission and RON NACHMANN (aka SHOCKMAN) journalist for the electronic music and culture magazine XLR8R have conceived and compiled Babylon Is Ours - The USA in dub.

Dub is eternal!

Tracklisting:
Select Cuts CD 2009
1. COSMIC ROCKER & ZEB feat. HARMONY - "Dub" 6:34
2. PHASE SELECTOR - "Warrior Style" 4:52
3. DUB CONGRESS - "Dub Up The Hemp" 6:29
4. AVATARS OF DUB - "Uptown Jungle" 6:10
5. TINO - "My Name is Tino" 5:06
6. MARK PISTEL'S ELECTRONIC DUB COLLECTIVE - "Orenda" 5:52
7. ZEB - "Distant" 5:39
8. EASTERN DUB TACTIK - "Set Your Soul on Fire" 4:49
9. BEN WA - "Ether Real" 5:03
10. SUB OSLO - "Prisoner of Dub" 6:50
11. OTAKU - "Harsh Reality" 3:51
12. SYSTEMWIDE feat. DR. ISRAEL & DJ COLLAGE - "Where You Gonna Run" 4:59

Vinyl: Select Cuts 6009 (limited edition to 1000 copies)
A 1. SYSTEMWIDE feat. DR. ISRAEL & DJ COLLAGE - "Where You Gonna Run" 4:59
2. AVATARS OF DUB - "Uptown Jungle" 6:10
B 1. TINO - "My Name is Tino" 5:06
2. DUB CONGRESS - "Dub Up The Hemp" 6:29

FEATURES/REVIEWS:



5.0 out of 5 stars - Great Stuff, By "paulnpstyle" (Seattle, WA USA)
This is a quality dub cd with great produciton on all of the tracks.

5.0 out of 5 stars Sound system...permanent addiction, By G. A. Stauffer "G-Dog" (West)
This CD takes the magic of traditional dub and brings it to the present and the future. This CD beat all my expectations easily....If you like dub, you WILL like this.

5.0 out of 5 stars Dub Eternal By A Customer
This is the deepest and strongest collection of new and cutting-edge dub out there. Picking up where classic dub and roots left off, these tracks put American dub on the map for the first time. Some tracks are on the electronic side, and others sound like full band productions. Most of the songs draw on the the reggae roots tradition, and a few are just plain out-there (in a good way). Even a couple of live tracks are included to prove that dub is not just a studio thing. Favorites have got to be Dub Congress with "Dub up the Hemp" and Eastern Dub Tactik with "Set Your Soul on Fire." I can't speak highly enough of the sweet dubwise vibes on this CD. If you like classic dub, new experiments in dub and instrumental reggae, or even just mainstream reggae and dancehall, you'll find something to smile about here. Great liner notes, too, so if you're not familiar with some of these groups, there's enough info to satisfy your curiosity.
Highly recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars dub comp of the year By bluntman (USA
This is a collection of the best dub artists in American. Many of them may be unknown but not after this.

(SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN)

Labor of dub United under one groove, and with reverb for all. By Peter Nicholson MANY PEOPLE'S FIRST and last thoughts on dub are merely what it spells backward and that the two go hand in hand. Fair enough, but for some, dub music is much more than the soundtrack for bong hits. It is a practice, a way of reimagining sound and thereby reality. My own introduction to dub came via the Clash's Mikey Dread-produced Sandinista!, an album I purchased on a torturous family stay in Europe. The disc allowed me to spin off into space night after night with the aid of "One More Dub," no ganja necessary. Those sonic slices of infinity were the perfect accompaniment to the other songs' more explicit ideology, glimpses of a world beyond the harsh realities of global political oppression on "Washington Bullets." Twenty years later, dub's producers and effects have spread beyond the world of electronic music. The ghostly glitch of Pole shows shadows of Lee "Scratch" Perry, Notwist dally with dubby bass lines both in the studio and onstage, and according to Aaron Dysart, a.k.a. Eastern Dub Tactik, "Gorillaz have proven that Americans from preschool to middle age are open-minded to the sounds of dub." Dub continues to open my ears and mind to a world of possibility, where echoes excavate hidden truths and reverb rides off into the sunset. The cornerstone of dub is sonic manipulation via the mixing board and effects, a practice that challenges the accepted standards of song structure and explores the possibilities of infinite change. As one sound multiplies, the listener is able to simultaneously appreciate both the essence of the moment and the variations catalyzed by effects. Perhaps more than the initial instruments and composition, editing and processors are the foundation of many artists' unique sounds, 12 original instances of which have been compiled by local DJs Sep Ghadishah and Ron Nachmann for Babylon Is Ours: The USA in Dub (Select Cuts). The album is a kaleidoscope of dub styles coaxed into existence by crews around the country, like New York's Cosmic Rocker and Zeb and Portland, Ore.'s Systemwide. Far from a strictly bicoastal affair, the CD includes tracks from Tennessee (Eastern Dub Tactik's tabla-spiced "Set Your Soul on Fire") and Texas (Sub Oslo's outstanding, live "Prisoner of Dub"). One of Babylon Is Ours' highlights comes from the East Bay duo Ben Wa, whose "Ether Real" is a perfect marriage of crystalline chimes, relentless bass, and enveloping keys. As we chat about production techniques, our discussion begins to echo the deep discontent of Sandinista!. Dr. Ware and Butthouse are serious about their dissatisfaction with the state of U.S. affairs and their desire to replace the Bush regime. In fact, when listing their current projects, they mention a collaboration with MCM (of MCM and the Monster) but are more eager to discuss a Web site they are developing, www.undothecoup.org, which aims to be something of an activist clearinghouse. Says House, "We hope to have a matchup method for putting volunteers together with bands to do voter registration at their shows, if [the bands] are willing to put two people on the guest list." Their work echoes the compilation's debut – at the March 15 rally in San Francisco's Jefferson Square following an antiwar march. Nachmann relates joining a crowd including Black Bloc activists wearing ski masks, and handing a copy of Babylon Is Ours to a DJ running the sound system. "The atmosphere that it created put the whole thing on edge: It relaxed people, but you could see people being fueled by it. You could see it in their eyes.... What's good about the music is that it can be used as a soundtrack either way – for getting high and just leaving the world behind or potentially for facilitating change." The album came about when Ghadishah and Nachmann noticed a rise in the quality and quantity of domestic dub during their respective work with the Elbo Room institution Dub Mission and electronic music magazine XLR8R, and they decided to commission exclusive tracks for an album. Three years later, their labor of love is in stores, and they're celebrating with two nights of live performances. "Three years can be a long time. There were times when I was like, 'God, I had no idea!' I certainly had no idea it was going to take this long," Ghadishah says, widening her eyes in exasperation. But she has some experience with perseverance, having run the weekly Dub Mission for more than six years. With characteristic modesty, Ghadishah claims little credit for its longevity but is quick to praise resident DJs like Vinnie Esparza and Ludichris, as well as a dedicated audience. Ghadishah describes their crowd as thoroughly diverse, and Nachmann goes further: "There's a real nerdy, trainspotter audience for the music as well as the majority of people who just want to hear something that will blow their scalps off." Though Nachmann's vast musical knowledge would seem to put him in the first group, he also shows an enthusiasm for dub sounds and culture that is anything but record shop-dusty and remote. He chuckles ruefully about the timing of releasing an album titled Babylon is Ours: The USA in Dub while the U.S. military is destroying the cradle of civilization. "The flip side is that this comes at a really good time, because I think dub presents an ideological stance, in my opinion, that is by its very nature antiwar. The deep, minor chord aspects of most of these songs reflects, I think, these artists' discontent with what is happening in and because of this country."



Dub is clearly on the rise in the US, as Babylon Is Ours quickly shows. Check the differing use of frequency range, mixing techniques and instrumentation, as each artist's vision of dub covers quite a broad spectrum. King Tubby's raw production influence is pervasive, yet each of the 12 artists brings different source material-including hip-hop (Tino) downtempo (Ben Wa) and drum & bass (Otaku). Other highlights include Portland's Systemwide (featuring Dr. Israel and DJ Collage), Santa Cruz's Dub Congress and DC's Avatars of Dub, who nicely reference the sounds of Black Uhuru and Augustus Pablo with a bit of uptempo mash-up. A stateside tribute to classic dub that doesn't lack for groundbreaking experimentation. Jesse Terry

http://www.onmilwaukee.com/music/articles/richey.html

" Babylon Is Ours: The USA in Dub: An All-Exclusive Collection of American Dub Flavors (Select Cuts) Nobody has ever thought of the United States as a mecca from home-grown reggae bands. Even the burgeoning ska movement is more punk than ska. But the 12 tracks here, on a German-made compilation (!), are heavy, organic and hard-hitting. There are New Yorkers, certainly, but also groups from the Bay Area, Dallas, Nashville and even the Italian-born, London-raised Zeb, now a New Yorker. Go deh yankee dubmasters! " -

http://www.irieites.de/pkritiken/USAinDUB.htm

Vielleicht hätte Mr. Bush viel mehr von diesen Klängen hören sollen, um seine Aggressivität zügeln zu lernen. Angesichts der traurigen und mehr als bedenklichen weltpolitischen Situation kommt dieses Album zur rechten Zeit. Ganz in der Tradition des Select Cuts-Labels wurde sorgfältig recherchiert, um erlesenen Tracks aus den Vereinigten Staaten "in the name of dub" zusammenzustellen. Damit wird in hoher Potenz deutlich, dass es ebenfalls im babylonischen Amerika Musiker gibt, die von dem Dub-Virus infiziert wurden und diesen Impuls äußerst kreativ umsetzen. Es soll jetzt nicht der Eindruck entstehen, dass diese Tatsache hierzulande gänzlich unbekannt ist, jedoch gibt es recht wenig, was den Weg über den Atlantik auf die heimischen Plattenteller findet. Das Hauptaugenmerk wurde bei der Zusammenstellung auf Bands und Projekte gelegt, die bislang viel zu unbeachtet geblieben sind. So sind auch mir Namen wie Phase Selector aus Nashville & New York, Ben Wa, Tino Corp und Systemwide von der Westküste nebst anderen bislang noch nie begegnet. Andere hingegen schon öfter, allen voran die Avatars Of Dub sowie die Band Sub Oslo aus Texas, deren Debüt (erschienen bei Glitterhouse) ebenfalls hier bei Irie Ites ausführlich rezensiert wurde. Die Sounds auf der Compilation sind mehr als vielfältig und zeigen erneut, wie viel spielerische Innovationskraft im Dub stecken. So man eine Kiste sucht, möge es die des Nu Rootsdub sein, in die man die Titel steckt. Neben sehr vielen mellow daherkommenden Tunes, die wie gehabt in die Weiten psychedelischer Dub-Sphären entführen (wie z.B. "Dub Up The Hemp" von Dub Congress), gibt es den UK-beeinflussten Steppers-Sound u.a. bei "Warrior Style" von Phase Selector zu hören. Die Avatars Of Dub pflegen bei "Uptown Jungle" einen Steppers-Breakbeatsound, der entfernt an den schon im Titel enthaltenen Jungle erinnert. Ben Wa von der Westküste halten es hingegen mit ihrem "Ether Real" eher locker beswingt. Alles garantiert garniert mit fetten, ultratiefen Bässen, die einem Magen und Hirn massieren. Eine schöne, runde Sache - all exclusive! - Karsten


Vinyl Exchange BY BILL PICTURE Of The Examiner Staff

Various Artists
Babylon Is Ours — The USA In Dub
Echo Beach/Select Cuts www.echobeach.de www.selectcuts.de

S.F.’s own DJ Sep, creator of Dub Mission (Sundays at the Elbo Room) and host of KPFA’s “Off The Beaten Path” radio show (Mondays 10 p.m. to midnight on 94.1FM), and Ron Nachmann, Associate Editor of XLR8R Magazine, offer dub fans a rumbling sampler of the many American dub-based and dub-inspired styles — from traditional to experimental — with this first-ever tribute to stateside dub merchants. Features 12 original and exclusive tracks by American artists like Dub Congress, Tino Corp., Ben Wa and Systemwide.