[10 January 2007]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
“Trip hop” just isn’t a hip thing to call music any more—so Quango has tried on the more earthy, historical “dub” for this series, ratcheting up the Jamaican connotations by adding the “selector” term. Like the previous two volumes, this is not dub in the true sense—sonically-manipulated, mostly-instrumental takes on reggae tracks. With a tracklist that includes usual suspects like Seven Dub and Esthero, it’s more or less trip hop: Dub-and-hip-hop influenced, downtempo electronica. There are some Jamaican artists and voices here, and reggae/ska rhythms, and toasting. However, all of this is presented in a way that Quango would probably call “eclectic”. What’s new and exciting in “real” dub these days, anyway, other than re-isues? Dub Selector 3 is pleasant and mellow, but offers up only a few tracks that rise above that description. One is “Fall in Love Again”, a highlight from Ms. Dynamite’s underperfoming Judgement Days album, that is underpinned by a solid reggae groove and a Ken Boothe sample. Another is the seemingly ageless Sly & Robbie’s “Vice Vanity”, given a propulsive yet nuanced remix by Noiseshaper. Dub Selector 3 is definitely a case where the title is a lot more brash than the music.