Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gussie Clarke - Black Foundation Dub

Gussie Clarke - Black Foundation Dub

Most of the time, when you buy an album, the record is credited to the artist. This doesn't necessarily have to be the case in Reggae Music, where the name of the engineer (Dub mixer) makes a regular appearance. But also the producer's name sometimes is printed on the cover. Black Foundation Dub is such an album. It gives you an indication of the influence that a producer can have on the music that he produces. Sometimes being a producer simply means to pay for the project, but not so in the case of Gussie Clarke and this album proves it. Clarke has produced many of the really big names in reggae: I Roy, Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown, Augustus Pablo, to name but four. He's been in the music runnings since the late 1960's, when he started to produce tunes for sound systems. You can find some stories in the liner notes, like the one in which Gussie tells us how he swapped the music rights of a Delroy Wilson tune for an amplifier. This illustrates very much the unique Culture in which albums like Black Foundation Dub have come to exist.

With the Barret Brothers (Bob Marley and the Wailers) on drum and bass on most tracks, a very solid foundation is layed down for the joyous Gussie Clarke sound as found on this album. If I had only one word to describe the vibe, it would be the word "joyful". Where DUB can be very intense, even haunting, not much of this is found on Black Foundation Dub. Instead of heavy dub, you'll get a more subtle variation of this Reggae Re-mix genre.

Gussie has participated a little in the mixing of Black Foundation, but he left most of the dubbing to King Tubby and Phillip Smart (Tappa Zukie In Dub). Because, as he says in the Liner Notes, he regarded himself only a student in this discipline. But that doesn't mean, that he had no big influence in the sound. The vibe on the album is much to consistent for that.

Black Foundation Dub was originally released on vinyl in the 1970's. There were only a limited number of copies, so give thanks to MOTION RECORDS for re-releasing it. The CD comes with three bonus tracks, the vinyl version with two. One of them is a special extended mix from an Augustus Pablo track called "No Entry".

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