Burning Babylon is a one man Dub Reggae project from Boston, Massachusetts USA. Created by Slade Anderson, the heavyweight riddims of Burning Babylon\'s sound are firmly anchored in the 1970\'s Jamaican roots tradition, but with an ear for the neo dub stylings of the present day.
I came to dub relatively late in my musical career. For 15 years I played guitar in various punk/metal bands in the Boston area, some of which you may be familiar with (The Freeze, Straw Dogs). Not surprisingly, the music I played mirrored what I listened to - loud and fast were the rules of my turntable. What reggae I did hear came via The Clash and, of course, Bob Marley. The word \"dub\" had yet to enter my vocabulary. Although when I was still a teenager it had begun slowly creeping in around the edges, reggae stayed on the periphery of my listening experience for years to follow.
During the mid 90s I began playing bass seriously for the first time. During this same period I also decided to investigate reggae more deeply. Since I was now primarily a bass player, focusing on music that was bass-oriented made sense. Wanting music that was more earthy and less slick than Marley or Tosh, I searched for albums that looked as though they might offer what I wanted. The first one I bought was Glen Brown and King Tubby: Termination Dub. To me, the cover looked as if the music was going to be pretty classic, grungy and authentic and I liked the title as well. Luckily I\'d hit on exactly what I was in search of. It didn\'t take long for me to readjust the way I listened to music (with little or no vocals) to fully appreciate what I was hearing. Drums drenched in reverb, horns and guitars echoing into oblivion, and the most heavyweight bass I\'d ever heard. It wasn\'t long before dub was stuck in my brain. Soon I was buying every album I could find to immerse myself in the music. Being a musician, I, of course, wanted to learn how to play this music that had so captured my attention. After a few weeks of wrestling with the rhythms, it finally \"clicked\" and I recorded my first dub track. Burning Babylon was born.
While I hope that I have my own unique take on dub, I\'ve certainly been influenced by those that have come before me.
Slade\'s words ring true, as the spirits of the usual suspects (King Tubby, Scientist, Lee \"Scratch\") clearly loom large in the Burning Babylon studio.
August 2008 - DubFlash at dubflash.com/
(Beat Beat Beat)
**** (4 stars)
It\'s the fourth longplayer of this one man dub reggae project after \"Knives to the Treble\", \"Stereo Mash Up\" and \"Garden of Dub\".
\"Beat Beat Beat\" stays strictly in BB\'s rootical dubbing tradition and is the logical successor: 12 fresh dubs full of fat beats and basses, many playful melodies, heavy skanking and positive vibrations. Familiar sounds of the previous albums (I\'d like to say: the good ones) are mixed with new sounds that you haven\'t heard on his previous albums (check \"Djungle\" for a good example).
Beatwise we get some tough steppers, some crucial one drops, even some ska riddims (\"Manuka Skank\" with some really cool skanks) and also a bit of unusual reggae beats like on my favourite tune \"Thumpy Skunkz\" which features some old schoolish breakbeat / hip hop beat. Dusty and muddy. Nice one.
Generally, BB\'s albums always bring some kind of good mood, at least for me. \"Basho & the Tiger\" is such an example, again with some groovy beats and a lot of positive energy, it\'s like a toy car for a young boy who is just happy playing around with it.
\"System a Vampire\" is another of these tunes that just have a certain something, again, it\'s mainly the really crispy beats here that make a difference. In combinaton with the very deep bass, I feel reminded of Bill Lasweel\'s explorations into the dubby orbit.
All in all, Burning Babylon delivered once again a serious piece of dub works on \"Beat Beat Beat\" which fits perfectly into his series of roots dub. Fans of his style will surely love it, others who are interested in an easy-going, entertaining rootical dub album, should definitely visit www.burningbabylon.com for more information.
September 2008 - Reggae-Vibes at reggae-vibes.com
(Beat Beat Beat)
Rating: from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor) ---- Vocals: - Backing: 4 Production: 4 Sound quality: 4/5 Sleeve: 5
Jamaican dub music might be dead and burried (it is ages ago that a noteworthy dub album coming from the Island has been issued), it certainly isn\'t in other parts of the world as proven by Slade Anderson a.k.a. Burning Babylon out of Boston, Massachusetts.
In the past decade he has been working on his own dub projects -- deeply inspired and influenced by celebrated 1970s dub works of King Tubby, Scientist and Lee \"Scratch\" Perry -- which led to the release of five, mostly critical acclaimed albums including \"Roots Heavy\", \"Garden Of Dub\", \"Dub Shack\", \"Knives To The Treble\" and \"Stereo Mash Up\". With his latest effort entitled \"Beat Beat Beat\" he adds another worthwhile full length album to his discography.
Like in the heydays of vinyl releases, \"Beat Beat Beat\" contains 12 tracks and it really shouldn\'t be more as it often doesn\'t make sense to fill up a cd with 18 or 20 tracks. The album features a wide variety of riddims including Steppers, One Drop, Ska, and even Version, all of them created with the \'roots of dub\' in mind. The drum and the heavy bass beat continue to be the driving force throughout, but on most tracks there\'s an emphasis on the keyboard reminiscent of the sound of the early 1970s created by for example Lee \"Scratch\" Perry.
One goes through various moods when listening to the sounds incorporated on this album, but above all it are the positive vibrations that dominate. It makes it a joyful listening experience from beginning to end with tracks such as \"Below The B-line\", \"Wires To Riot\", \"Manuka Skank\", \"Rewind Deluxe\" and the exceptional \"Djungle\" urging you to push the repeat button for them. However tomorrow it could be another selection, depending on the mood you\'re in.
All in all another very entertaining dub collection from Burning Babylon