Roberto Sanchez Jah Bless The Rastaman Dub Review

Roberto Sanchez – Jah Bless The Rastaman Dub – Review

Anotha One Productions featuring Roberto Sanchez: Jah Bless The Rastaman Dub Single Review by Mr Topple for

Following on from the success of the late Tabby Diamond’s final track, with Gregory Isaacs’ nephew Ray, the label responsible for it has released a Dub version – and it’s a scintillating listen.

Jah Bless The Rastaman Dub, released via Anotha One Productions, sees the outfit join forces with well-respected producer and engineer Roberto Sanchez. As Pauzeradio said of the Diamond/Isaacs version:

Jah Bless The Rastaman is excellent work from all involved – particularly the Reggaement Band and Anotha One’s sterling commitment to the original, but with a particularly thoughtful new ending. Isaacs is on-point – however this is Diamond’s track, posthumously, showing what skill this giant of the Roots Reggae scene still had. Jah Bless The Rastaman, Tabby – and may he rest well”.

Now, Roberto Sanchez has re-interpreted the Mighty Diamonds’ 1975 classic – this time with a veritable feast of Dub.

The straight version saw a faithful reworking of the original – keeping the bubble rhythm keys, the double drop-beat bass, skanking guitar, and drums on a one drop. That recognisable guitar riff was also kept in – and Diamond and Isaacs did a fantastic job on the vocals.

So, Sanchez has taken this base composition and interjected some superb Dub flavours across it.

With regards to the vocals, they have been kept partly in (except for breaks) – somewhat unusual for a Dub but given the provenance of the original (Diamond’s last ever recording), that’s probably important.

Then Sanchez has given us some pleasing Dub effects. The instrumental lines have been considerably tinkered with – most of the time seeing the absence of several elements, creating an ebb and flow of complexity and some stark moments to boot – where we’re left with just the bass and pick guitar, or just the bass and the keys, for example.

The Dub features some excellent use of engineering, too. There’s keen attention to detail across the use of reverb – it being very rhythmic, but with variations of pace (the triplets on the keys being particularly nice) and plenty of decay thrown in at the ends of phrases for good measure. The snare has been given a dose of ‘other room’ effect via compression and a glut of low-pass filtering. There’s some fascinating engineering on the washboard – where the EQ has been messed with to make it sound half-duck, half-human voice – with a splattering of decay intermittently running across it.

Perhaps what works best across the Dub, though, is how Sanchez has focused on Diamond’s and Isaacs’ vocal at points – stripping everything away except the bass and the pick guitar. This, perhaps intentionally or inadvertently, at its most prominent point is across the Diamond lyrics “No man can do no more than his time”. It’s a poignant moment, given his untimely murder – and serves as an evocative reminder of not only Diamond’s talents but also the fragility of life.

Overall, Jah Bless The Rastaman Dub is a gorgeous, inventive, and well-executed piece of work from Anotha One and Sanchez: a fitting final Dub for the legendary Tabby Diamond.

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Anotha One Productions feat. Roberto Sanchez – Jah Bless The Rastaman Dub Review by Mr Topple / Pauzeradio PR Services (9th August 2023).

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