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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

HI-FIDELITY DUB SESSIONS IV

By JUDSON KILPATRICK
Published April 19, 2006

Guidance

Another treat from Guidance living up to the Hi-Fidelity name, this compilation sounds pristine if your subwoofer is in order. Note to dub purists: despite the presence of some bona fide reggae stars, these spaced-out soundscapes are from the 21st century/electronica side of the tracks. The album opens with a relatively new (and rather obscure) Horace Andy song called “Baby,” performed with the Reggae Disco Rockers in Tokyo. When Richard Dorfmeister overhauls Cutty Ranks’ gun-talk classic “The Stopper,” it becomes a driving disco dub with hardly any vocals. And there are two fine cuts from Dorfmeister’s Tosca project (with Rupert Huber) on which reggae influence is undeniable, but could never come from anywhere but Austria. Other highlights include Groove Armada’s thumping, get-up-and-dance “Superstylin’” (certainly the biggest hit here), Boozoo Bajou’s gently percussive “Bakar,” and two old-style dubs by Ticklah (a.k.a. Victor Axelrod) and his New York collective Roots Combination. It’s amazing how the worldwide influence of this sub-genre of Jamaican music continues to grow.