Jimmy Radway and Fe Me Time All Stars ‘Dub I’ LP/CD (Pressure Sounds) 5/5

Mixed at Joe Gibbs studios by one half of the Mighty Two, Errol Thompson (but devoid of the special effects typical of the Mighty Two dub albums), ‘Dub I’ originally came out on an extremely limited edition LP in Jamaica in 1975. It was briefly released in the UK, albeit in a highly disguised form in the early 1980s, but has remained a collectors must have among dub cognoscenti because of its uncompromising pared-down sound. Pressure Sounds have reproduced the orginal minimalist sleeve with a crystal clear re-mastering, adding five extra dub and instrumental tracks.
Ivan ‘Jimmy’ Radway is something of an elusive figure even in reggae circles and certainly has not been prolific on the production front. However, what he has lacked in sheer quantity, he has more than made up for in the superb quality of the recordings and attention to detail. Some of the finest roots 45s were cut by Radway including ‘Black Cinderella’ by Errol Dunkley and ‘Mother Liza’ by Leroy Smart as well as various DJ cuts to the aforementioned by the likes of Big Youth and I-Roy. The genius of ‘Dub I’ was to bring all these classic riddims together and reproduce them in beautifully crafted and relatively short dub versions. Impressive are dub cuts to ‘Dub is my desire’ (originally Leroy Smart’s ‘Happiness is my desire’) and ‘Big Youth version’ (a dub cut to ‘Cinderella’). Of the extras, the instrumental ‘Tina May’ stands out and offers some nice trombone soloing from Vin Gordon over a heavyweight rhythm as does ‘The great Tommy Mc Cook’ by the legendary Skatalite member. Another winner of a re-issue from the premier UK label championing quality roots recordings.

Tim Stenhouse