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Dub the World

Umberto Echo

Echo Beach
EB074 | 2010-03-05  
Just so there aren’t any misunderstandings: Umberto Eco is, as we all know, an Italian author, professor, hermeneutics expert and polymath, who on the basis of his creative output seems to have at least four arms and two brains. Umberto Echo, and this is a fact perhaps only the cognoscenti of reggae, jazz and dub music will know, is a (music) author, professor, expert in (sound) hermeneutics and multi-instrumentalist from Munich who also has two brains and at least eight arms! Or so it seems when you watch his hands skimming across the mixing desk, transforming the musical raw material of a riddim into dub live on stage, FOH or in the studio. After collaborating as producer, engineer and musician on over 80 albums, ranging from rock to classical & jazz through to reggae; writing Bavarian reggae history along the way with Jahcoustix, Jamaram and Headcornerstone, and producing for a swathe of international reggae vocalists, including Alborosie, Junior Kelly, Luciano and Luton Fyah, Professor Echo finally revealed his true identity two years ago by getting on the Dub Train – his debut album as sound scientist of the digital echo chambers and analogue loops, disciple of Duke Ellington and King Tubby. Released on the prestigious jazz label enjarecords and shaped by Umberto Echo’s immense instrumental and production skills, the album explained in very few words where the man came from. The successor to this debut, which is released on Echo Beach, is Dub The World and it shows him as a sound manipulator whose virtuoso control of mixing desk, software and outboards is equalled only by his mastery of keyboards, guitar, bass and percussion. The new album maps where the Dub Train journey took him. While Umberto Eco attempts to explain the world in his books, monographs and essays, there’s only one way for Umberto Echo: to dub the world. Dub The World, his exciting set for Echo Beach, features 15 versions of dub, roots and dancehall tunes from 13 countries! The album was mixed at top notch Studios in Berlin (Dorian Gray) Munich (Magus & Fool Studio) and New York (The Maids Room & Strange Weather Studio Brooklyn), resulting in a clear, wide sound on this journey through HiFi dub. The opener comes courtesy of the Original Germaican Gentleman with “Dem Gone”. The Riddim Twins Sly & Robbie, performing here with the Polish band Rastasize, are featured, as are the veterans from Steel Pulse in combination with Damian Marley. Another act from the Motherland is Oneness feat. Buju Banton & Naptali, with “Rise up!“. The UK answers with the Stereo MCs and Up, Bustle & Out from Bristol. The vibes from Katchafire (New Zealand) come from furthest afield, followed by the Australians The Red Eyes and Jiang Liang from China. Cultura Profetica represent Puerto Rico, Dub Inc. (F), Dub Spencer & Trance Hill (CH) and the Austrians from Dubblestandard (again with Lee “Scratch” Perry!) allow Umberto Echo to pump up their Eurodubs ,while German band Seeed are featured with one of their classic tracks, “Aufstehn”. Dub The World quietly manifests itself as 2 CDs in one: on one hand, an exclusive dubset by one of the great, mysterious men in the background, and on the other an outernational dub conference which again emphasises the power of Marley’s universal integration message combined with King Tubby’s sonic innovation. One Love Dubwise International – from roots to futuristic, from jam-rocking to ethnodelic, from Brooklyn to Sydney over Kreuzberg to Kingston and back. Or, as we sounbwoys, say: Rewind!

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