Artist: Suns of Arqa
Title: All Is Not Lost,
All Is Dub
All Is Dub
The Suns of Arqa's released 'All Is Not Lost, But Where Is It?' On Liquid Sound Design back in April this year. This wasn't a stereotypical S.O.A. release of Carnatic Indian music fused with Rastafarian Niyabinghi drumming but enhanced and focused on the dub elements with Youth, the Orb and Raja Ram on production. Label manager Robin Triskele has drafted in a wealth of talent to dub-the-dub so to speak and add a fresh lease of life to the tracks.
The proceedings kick off with Total Eclipse's version of 'Mother Tongue' which initiates with a tripped out raga fused with NASA samples and fades in and out of some beautifully melodic synth sequences and guitar licks. I must confess I'm not really familiar with Total Eclipse but I like the way they've stepped back and mellowed this track out but retained the original drive of the piece. The Saafi Brothers put their stamp on 'Sadrayama' which again seems to take a step back into a more eastern dub and dropping the squelch of the original.
Following on Kakan Dub Lagan add's his magic to 'Eramus Dub' which retains plenty of old skool reggae dub flavours alongside laid back synths, samples and scratches which he modesty but effectively tweaks I definitely got a soft spot for this one. Tor.Ma In Dub's take on 'The Fool Ascends' begins with a dark atmospheric intro with slow piano bass notes, before the reggae is slowly introduced, gaining volume and then is dubbed out in alluring and dream like fashion along with the eastern instruments and vocals.
Once again it seems like a step back from the initial release with Kuba's version of 'Discordant Dream' with a more dream like quality to the piece and the tribal drumming more of a pitter patter nestled amongst the dub. This theme follows once again somewhat surprisingly with Eat Static on 'The Truth Lies Therein' where you might expect a more full on approach he utilises the poetic spoken word perfectly throughout this frankly excellent eastern dub. The release concludes with Youth's re-mix of 'Pablo's Lament' which if you've brought either of the two previous S.O.A. releases on L.S.D. you will already have if not it's a harmonica fused piece of reggae dub with some interesting twists and turns.
As I mentioned previously this is not a stereo-typical S.O.A. release however, I would imagine most long-term fans of Michael Wadada's Suns of Arqa are fans of dub and will accept this for a S.O.A. in dub release. Personally, I'm definitely taking that view even though the Indian vibes take a back seat and I have to say I actually prefer this re-mix album to the original release.
Reviewed by Woodzee.