King Jammy vs. Alborosie: ‘Dub of Thrones’ Album Review

Photo courtesy of VP Records
Photo courtesy of VP Records

On Dub of Thrones VP/Greensleeves pits a purveyor of classic dub against one of today’s most talented, yet underrated dub producers.  It is a clash of two heavyweights when the Waterhouse’s weighty Lloyd “King Jammy” James takes on the Sicilian soul pirate who sounds the system straight from Shengen Alberto “Alborosie” D’Ascola.  The project, which was originally titled Reality of Dub, features two of the finest dub reggae producers going track for track in a sensational set of sounds that range from dancehall to digital to deep to dumbfounding.

After an introduction by U-Roy and a lackluster Jammy effort on “A Dub of Ice and Fire” it is Albo who strikes first with “Dub the Seven Kingdoms,” a hard-hammering remix of the “Every Tongue Shall Tell” riddim inna classic dub style that is simply stunning.  Jammy hits back with “Iron Throne Dub,” a slow and steady throwback to the sound and style that Jammy introduced on his 1979 masterpiece Kamikaze Dub.  Alborosie shuts down side one with “Rise Up Dub,” a brutally bass-heavy assault and the hardest track on the album.  The album never fully recovers as Jammy’s digital dubs and Alborosie’s overindulgence on tracks like “Black Cinderella” fail to balance the weight of the first half of the album.

Ultimately, Dub of Thrones is a fine dub clash album which does little justice to either Jammy or Albo as it fails to showcase the supreme and incomparable talents of these artists.  However, the first half of the show is well worth the price of admission.

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