Soul Revivers - Grove Dub (Acid Jazz)

Soul Revivers – Grove Dub (Acid Jazz)

It was in March, earlier this year, that I first visited the Acid Jazz Soul Revivers compilation. Just 7 months later, here I am again listening to the latest collection. This time it’s Grove Dub that’s here to tickle my taste buds, a dubbed-up version of the earlier compilation. A sweet joint, that’s been reduced in track size to 8, but is no less fertile than the original set of tunes.

Opening the collection is a delicious dub of ‘Meanwhile Shuffle’, which comes across as a heavier fit than on the original, On the Grove, possessing a weightier bass and rim shots that pepper the number, something that would put 1920s gangster “Baby Face” Nelson in the shade. From what I’m hearing and in context to the previously released album, what’s offered here seems to be an upgrade. These dub versions possess a greater range and have more meat on the bones, playing out like a smoother coffee, and with extra sprinkles too. Listing to ‘Harder’ this glorious version just makes me smile and Ernest Ranglin’s sweet guitar runs, an understanding of just how adept these Jamaican greats are at what they do. I’m loving the bass run that acts as the framework to ‘Underground Dub’. Here, more emphasis is given to the musical arrangement and on this occasion, Devon Russell’s vocal plays second fiddle. On ‘Gone Are The Days’, here renamed ‘Gone Clear’, at 30 seconds Alexia Coley offers her vocal, slipping into a tunnel of echo, although much to my surprise, although gone, remained with me throughout. Rather than disappearing into the hot pot of reggae-infused instrumentation.

I can hear Curtis Mayfield vibes on ‘Rocka Dub’, as the glorious feeling of Mayfield’s ’Super Fly’ brushes past my neck. That familiar bass run greets you like an old friend, although this old friend is different, somewhat younger. The cha-cha-cha of the guitar, those rim shots, the patter-patter on the snare, and that horn, make this number complete. This is a virtual smoke-filled room at the back of the Jazz Café. The great and the good filter into the space. The vibes I am feeling are amazing. This collection of tunes centres around the melding of afro-Caribbean cultures, with those of 70s Britain, in a place where we can all live peacefully. The sound space is offered here by Acid Jazz and this 8-track, shorter version of the earlier On The Grove, works even better. 

On this occasion, rather than when I described the earlier collection, On The Grove as being one of love and experience, this time the best way to describe this would be ‘passionate’. These versions are just the best of the best, making this essential listening.

Grove Dub is released on 14th October through Acid Jazz.


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