Dec 11, 2012

RhoDeo 1250 Roots

Hello, as mentioned previously there's been a big influx of Jamaicans in the UK these last decades and they seeded a vibrant reggae/dub culture, reason enough to post some of the results of exploring '90s U.K. Anglo dub.

Alpha & Omega emerged as part of the '90s U.K. dub school, but the approach favored by Christine Woodbridge and John Sprosen is far more deeply grounded in dub's original Jamaican bass & drum roots foundation, than 'better modern living through sound science and mixing board effects.' It's dub as a rhythm of life to live by, minimal grooves with a sparing but savvy application of electronic touches, and melody instruments to avoid sameness.... N'joy

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As the duo, Alpha and Omega, Christine Woodbridge and John Sprosen have created a style of dub, the remixing offshoot of reggae, that is uniquely British. While they were initially influenced by original dub recordings by Lee "Scratch" Perry, King Tubby and Augustus Pablo, Woodbridge and Sprosen have continued to evolve their own sound. "Option" magazine explained, "through minimal manipulation, (Alpha and Omega) deliver the listener to a place of great sonic peace". According to "The Wire", "The compelling presences at the hear of these airy sonic worlds have a harder edge than some of their ancestors'. "Pulse!" dug even deeper into their explanation of Alpha and Omega's sound, which they described as, "massively thunderous bass lines, galloping drum tracks and a willingness to tastefully adorn dubs with digital flutes and various electronic sounding washes". Bassist Woodbridge, one of reggae's few woman instrumentalists, and keyboardist Sprosen began working together after meeting in the southwestern coastal city of Plymouth in Devon, England. Both musicians had previously played in various reggae bands and Sprosen had worked with the Roaring Lion Sound System. Pooling their resources, Woodbridge and Sprosen spent several years recording rhythm tracks prior to releasing their debut album, Daniel in the Lion's Den, as a cassette that they released on their own label, A & O, in 1990. Two years later, the duo signed with Greensleeves, keeping the imprint A &O as part of the agreement. Alpha and Omega have continued to collaborate with other British reggae bands. The duo supplied rhythm tracks for Jah Shaka and appeared on the indie-dance band Flowered Up's single, "The Reggae Song". The duo was accompanied by the Disciples on their 1997 album, Sacred Art of Dub; Mystical Things followed three years later and the brilliant Dub Philosophy appeared in summer 2001. They produced a steady output in the following decade: Serious Joke (02), Spirit Of The Ancients (03), Trample The Eagle And The Dragon And The Bear (05), City Of Dub (07), Songs From The Holy Mountain (09), culminating in Blessed Are The Poor (12) their most recent album.
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The A&O duo work with vocalists Tanernishka and the Exile on Overstanding. and the understated female vocal and chorus hook makes "Jah Jah Protector" an excellent opener. "Protect I Dub" dubs out the same song with bass throb and minimal keyboard. before switching to keyboard-bass for "A Homeless People," with Tanernishka's light-touch vocals adding a melancholy wistfulness reflecting the repatriation theme. "No Man's Land" is a more active dub that gives good atmosphere creation behind the bassline spine, deep moody keyboard burbles, and forceful drums.The songs seem to be paired up, but the dub versions here are different takes on the rhythm, not just a "Part Two" extension of the same groove. The female voice intoning human rights' heroes on "Freedom Fighters" gives way to the Mutabaruka-like interjections (Exile?) of "Dub Is Mightier Than The Sword," though you wonder how he feels about the Robert Mugabe reference now.

The Watch And Pray LP half introduces variety in its own way, with a thinner, less-present sound, more reliance on sonic effects, and far fewer vocals. "Respect To The Warrior" goes heavy with effects (as in background synth washes, not echo and reverb on the instruments), while the dreamy "Who Is The Ruler?" is more fragmentary, with bird chirp synthesizers as the background sound.

But the relative quality drop is nowhere near far enough to keep from recommending this disc. Alpha & Omega don't use a lot of different elements, but they know how to get the maximum out of the musical arsenal they employ, and have good instincts on how long to stretch out little changes. And the duo are always convincing at laying down the dub as rhythm-of-life-to-live-by foundation; foundation stone number one for any musician or fan of dub, modern or roots variety.

Alpha and Omega - Watch And Pray / Overstanding (flac  419mb)

01 Jah Protection 3:14
02 Protect I Dub 3:17
03 A Homeless People 3:29
04 No Mans Land 3:26
05 Solomon And Sheba 3:56
06 Freedom Fighters 4:16
07 Dub Mightier Than The Sword 4:15
08 Conscious Black 3:29
09 Woman / Version 3:31
10 In The Beginning 4:17
Watch And Pray
11 Respect To The Warrior 3:38
12 Who Is The Ruler? 3:46
13 Africa 3:17
14 Wicked Man Drop 4:08
15 Prophecy Fulfilled 3:55
16 Rastafari 3:43
17 Dub Flute 3:37
18 Fire! 3:42
19 Merciful Jah 3:57
20 The Roots 3:39

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Dub Judah is a very well respected vocalist, musician, live performer and producer who has released his own top roots music on his Dub Jockey label. He also works producing singing and playing with other established artists such as Norman Grant of the Twinkle Brothers with whom he sometimes tours worldwide. He does occasional live shows with his own band and is continually working in his own and different studios where he is in great demand as a producer.  Almighty Jah, Alpha and Omega's fifth album, features Dub Judah's distinctive vocals on rhythms from A&O's previous LP Watch And Pray. This unique combination produces great tracks such as Rasta is Merciful, Almighty Jah and Honest Opinion

Alpha and Omega Meets Dub Judah ‎– Almighty Jah (flac  327mb)

01 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Almighty Jah 3:44
02 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Hand To The Wheel 3:41
03 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Dub Can Reveal 3:41
04 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Honest Opinion 3:42
05 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - David And Goliath 3:29
06 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Rasta Is Merciful 3:57
07 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Merciful Vision 4:01
08 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Africa Is Calling 3:27
09 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Banks Of The Nile 3:29
10 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Sheba's Journey 4:42
11 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Pure And Clean (Re-mix) 3:42
12 The Exile - California V. Powell (Re-mix) 3:44
13 Tanernishka - Justice Has To Be Seen (Re-mix) 3:42
14 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Yemenite Chant (Re-mix) 3:29
15 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Alpha & Omega 3:35
16 Alpha & Omega Meets Dub Judah - Liberate The Nation 3:17
17 Tanernishka - Only In Yourself (Re-mix) 3:32

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"Alpha and Omegas 7th album, Safe In The Ark features vocal tracks such as Show Me A Purpose with Nishka and Bind Us Together with Dayjah. Bind Us Together is a vocal version of the track Everyday Life. Also Safe In The Ark features the first collaboration with the Disciples, on Jah Is Calling which was recorded and mixed at the Disciples studio by Russ Disciple, this was the start of a series of collaborations between Alpha and Omega and the Disciples"

Alpha and Omega - Safe In The Ark (flac 355mb)

01 Show Me A Purpose 4:08
02 Purposeful Dub 4:08
03 Ancient Wisdom 3:42
04 Love Is A Principal Thing 4:05
05 Principal Dub 4:07
06 It's Alright 4:13
07 Easy Dub 4:12
08 Over Hills And Mountains 3:30
09 Jah Is Calling 4:03
10 Bind Us Together 4:31
11 Bind Us Together Dub 4:33
12 Ancient Dub 3:43
13 Jah Hear Me 4:15

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Inertia from Oz said...

Hi Rho, next time you are re=upping some cool sounds, I'd love any Alpha & Omega hubby goodness that you have in flac... thanks in advance


Inertia from Oz said...

Dubby not hubby!

Inertia out

Anonymous said...

Hello Rho, could you re-up:
Alpha and Omega - Watch And Pray / Overstanding
Alpha and Omega Meets Dub Judah ‎– Almighty Jah
Alpha and Omega - Safe In The Ark
It will be kind, thank you!