Various Artists - Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Various Artists - Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2001-10-29

For all the acres of music press newsprint whipped up by the British punk explosion, in late 1976, actual quality punk rock records were scarce. The movement--the fashion, the attitude, the sense of rebellion--had arrived long before the record companies could capture it on vinyl, so London's Roxy club catered for the discerning clubber with another edgy rebel sound: dub reggae. Compiled by the club's rastafari DJ Don Letts--a future Big Audio Dynamite member, and one-time manager of punk-reggae maidens The Slits--Dreads Meets The Punk Rockers Uptown showcases a selection of the era's breaking Jamaican sounds. There's a wealth of bona fide dub classics here, in the shape of King Tubby's "Bag Of Wire Dub", Augustus Pablo's "King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown", Lee "Scratch" Perry's "The Tackro", and The Congos' "Fisherman". The most intriguing tracks, however, are those included as a signpost towards punk's evolution: see Junior Murvin's "Police And Thieves", later to be covered by The Clash, marking punk's shift away from posturing white guitar rage, and towards defiant, anti-authoritarian multicultural statements. Dreads Meets The Punk Rockers Uptown is a period piece, sure, but it sounds fresh even now. --Louis Pattison

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