VA: Jahtarian Dubbers Vol. 1

Jahtari's eleven-track compilation should incite fans of classic, rootsy dub to loudly rejoice. It's all here: echo-drenched voices, chunky organ and guitar riffs, slow and skanky grooves, bass lines that pulsate like heartbeats, and snares that ricochet like pinballs. Hold on for the slow, heavy crawl of Blaze Dem's “Roots Defender” and its epic horns, swoon over Ilyah & Ltd. Candy's dreamy “Machines and Ghosts” (“All of us bastards of machines and ghosts”), John Frum's skeletal and aquatically deep “January Dub,” and Pete Murder Tone's reverb-soaked “Paper Tiger.” Tunes like Blue Vitriol's “Cryovolcano” ooze deep Rhythm & Sound atmosphere (not to mention a lonely main melody that would do Ennio Morricone proud) while others, like Rootah's spooky “Holy Mount,” roll past—delectably—in an unhurried and smoky haze. It's real roots, and expertly mastered by Andreas Tilliander too. Nicer still is the promise of at least one more volume.

August 2007