On April 28, 2017 VP Records dropped the newest addition to their Riddimentary series – Riddimentary: Suns of Dub Selects Greensleeves. The new album pairs the group with the Greensleeves and VP Records catalogue of reggae masters for a musical tour through the crucial tracks that have formed the outlook and output of the ensemble. Twelve selected full tracks on vinyl LP. Among the featured artists on the album is the legendary Augustus Pablo, whose son Addis is a founding member. Riddimentary is the perfect bridge for dub reggae and progressive music fans to connect with all-time reggae classics from the Greensleeves and VP Records catalogue.
Suns of Dub is a performing ensemble and production team, creating unique sound experiences that blend live instruments and dub influenced genres. Their hybrid reggae sound includes live melodica, steel pan, nyabinghi drums, live dub and DJ effects. The group has been working and releasing music together since 2010. Behind Suns of Dub are two talented artists (both longtime friends of MIDNIGHT RAVER): producer Ras Jammy and Addis Pablo, son of the late, great roots reggae and dub producer Augustus Pablo. Pablo and Jammy have worked with some of the biggest names in the reggae music industry and they’ve performed at festivals across the globe, such as Bangarang in Italy and Reggae Jam Germany. Longtime readers will recall that MIDNIGHT RAVER was one of the first websites to put Suns of Dub on, featuring our very first interview with Addis Pablo in 2012.
Riddimentary contains seventeen tracks personally selected from the VP/Greensleeves deep catalogue by Suns of Dub themselves. So it is only fitting that they decided to kick off the set with Augustus Pablo’s “Africa Dub,” the killer B-side version to Hugh Mundell’s “Africa Must Be Free By 1983.” The tune, which was originally issued in 1978 on a Pablo International 7″ vinyl 45 rpm, features two young bredrens named Wycliffe “Steely” Johnson and Cleveland “Clevie” Browne playing together on record for the very first time. It is Steely’s signature bubbling keyboard which makes this tune so memorable.
Another strong selection from the VP/Greensleeves archives is Johnny Osbourne’s “Purify Your Heart,” a murderous tune with an infectious groove which was produced by the great Winston Riley. Other standout selections in this set include Hugh Mundell’s “Going Places,” Lacksley Castell’s “What A Great Day,” Eek-A-Mouse’ “Noah’s Ark,” Tetrack’s “Isn’t It Time,” and Dillinger’s “Brace-A-Boy.” At least half of the tracks in this set were originally produced by Augustus Pablo and have been issued countless times over the years. However, there is a twist. In addition to selecting the tunes, Suns of Dub remixed each track in their own signature style. The payoff isn’t in the track selections but in Suns of Dub’s reinterpretation of each.
Suns of Dub fans will certainly enjoy this two-disc set. However, this is an album that will have wide appeal among the larger reggae massive. Every track in this set is already a certifiable reggae smash hit. The appeal of this set is the way in which Addis Pablo and Ras Jammy build upon that solid foundation.
Riddimentary: Suns of Dub Selects Greensleeves is available for purchase now where records are sold.