Sheriff Lindo & The Hammer – Ten Dubs That Shook the World (EM Records)


An essential oil greasing the gears of worldwide dub. Sheriff Lindo´s hammer is his studio smithy – drum machines, synths and loops. Although it has a hint of the industrial to it, Ten Dubs That Shook the World sounds as “rootical” as if it were a purely acoustic effort made on the outskirts of mid-seventies Trenchtown.

This re-release was put together two years ago (by Japanese label EM Records, one of the best in the business of impossible-to-find out-of-print gems, lovingly repackaged and annotated) but time and date is not of the essence here. Two years makes it no less contemporary than its first re-release in 2005, or its initial publication way back in 1988. The dubs, inspired by the usual suspects (UK contemporaries just making names for themselves like Mad Professor and Adrian Sherwood, JA originators like King Tubby and Lee Perry), were recorded by Anthony Maher between 1981 and 1988, making him precursor to any actual dub scene in Australia by years. Partial evidence of the newness of this sound was the fact it took Maher´s house label 10-15 years to sell out the press run of 250 pieces.

Speaking of numbers, there aren´t and never were precisely ten dubs (eight on the original vinyl LP, thirteen on the 1998 CD version and EM´s first re-issue in 2005, now trimmed to twelve) but if you´ve got stuck on a neat, referential title (via Sergei Eisenstein´s film version of journalist John Reed´s epochal book), you go with it. But they do shake, quake, bend time, stretch space and make bulge that which for all intents and purposes should not. The keystone, the strength of the rhythm, is smoothly manoeuvred into place by Maher. A unique document, a bass-lover´s summer vacation, flowing with ambient luxuriance.


About Author

Born and raised in Toronto, Stephen Fruitman has been living in northern Sweden lo these past thirty years. Writing and lecturing about art and culture as an historian of ideas since the early nineties, his articles have appeared in an number of international publications. He is also a contributing editor at Igloo Magazine.

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