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Various Artists Hi-Fidelity Dub Sessions 4

True, everybody and their Jamaican great-aunt has a dub album nowadays. But no matter how fiery your blood, you can't front on Guidance's ability to select cuts that progress more like an expert DJ set than just a bunch of licensed tracks. Hi-Fi Dub 4 starts out on a high note, with the Reggae Disco Rockers' instant classic, "Baby." The tune features Horace Andy pleading for his love to return his affection lest he "bring his guns to town." Nicked from ESL's DC dub laboratory, See-I's "Why Not Tonight" also trods on recognizable, if not ubiquitous, terrain, with a nod to the dub-heavy roots vibe of late-'70s Gregory Isaacs/Roots Radics. Even on futuristic, avant-dub plates like the Groove Corp. remix of Daddy Ous's "Hard Like A Rock" and the Groove Armada's house-ish "Superstylin'," the rhythmic simplicity that's as essential to dub's foundation as space-or, for that matter, bass-remains intact. "Essential" might be too strong of a word these dubbed-out days, but until Jim Nabors in Dub drops or Armageddon comes, it'll just have to do.

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