DX1 Bio Tribute To Dub Music
With ‘Wisdom of Roots,’ Leeds based brothers Michael and Conrad Cruise have put together a collection of varied tracks underpinned by a classic reggae beat covering everything from the direct and literal song of praise and longing for the female object of his desires (‘Girl I Need Your Love’) to an altogether more abstract and suggestive urban soundscape (‘Urban Dub’).
Some material dates back to the 1990s while some is far more recent, and what’s particularly interesting is how sometimes the same basic tune can create various different moods and song types. For example, ‘Girl I Need Your Love’ is a vocal dominated love song while ‘Girl I Need your Dub’ and ‘Good Times Dub’ are both the same basic tune but certainly couldn’t be described as ‘just’ backing tracks – with subtle nuances and additions they become stand alone tracks in their own right.
Michael and Conrad handle all the composing, arranging and instrumentation between them but judicious use of different vocalists give the vocal numbers a completely different feel; compare ‘Girl I Need Your Love’ in vocal style featuring Ricky Smith on vocals to ‘Here We Come Again’ sung by Clifford Hughes.
‘Urban Dub’ with its wash of urban night sounds, including distant sirens, and abstract vocal and keyboard interjections set over a driving bass line and syncopated drum pattern evokes an edgy nocturnal car ride through the city. ‘Tribute to Dub Music Remix’ treads a similar path but subtle variations make for a more uptempo city soundscape – here we’re maybe heading for the bright lights instead of the sombre darker recesses of the city suggested in ‘Urban Dub’.
What the brothers especially show in this collection is how modern music making techniques such as drum programming and the use of state of the art keyboards don’t destroy the heart and soul of authentic 70s style roots and reggae inspired music. Indeed, the technology can enhance the experience.