gullbuy music review

King Jammy meets Dry & Heavy


In the Jaws of the Tiger


BSI Records


King Jammy meets Dry and Heavy CD coverI first fell in love with this record a year and a half ago. 'In the Jaws of the Tiger' accompanied me on a long drive to Baxter State Park in Maine. I thought that the Japanese take on heavy dub was more dub than dub, in that way that Japanese artists do when they lovingly create a homage to a certain item or commodity.

King Jammy meets Dry & Heavy is the marriage of a Japanese band to a Jamaican mixer. Lloyd "King Jammy" James mixed the record at his studio in Kingston Jamaica. He used echo and reverb like they were river water flowing around the sound. Dry & Heavy are Shigemoto (Dry) Nanao on drums and Takeshi (Heavy) Akimoto on bass. There are two vocalists on the record - one male and one female (Ao Inoue and Likkle Mai). The rest of the band is Japanese and the record was recorded by Naoyuki Uchida in Japan.

The copy of 'In the Jaws of the Tiger' that I am adding today in the gullbuy is a re-release on a different label (the original came out on Green Tea) with a bonus track. The bonus track is King Cobra Dub. It is a decent dub, but not worth buying the record for if you have the original.

My favorite tracks remain Do Dub Up Your Fight, Radical Dubber, Breaking Dub,and Love Explosion Dub. That is not to say that these are the only good tracks. 'In the Jaws of the Tiger' is filled with strong dubs that are saturated with echo. Harmony Dub is an instrumental that has electronics and super deep dub sounds. Night Flight Dub has sax and a touch of Sun Ra to it. There is a sweeping synth under the sax and an occasional use of bells. The sound of a helicopter circles around the speakers for headphone wearers, along with ray gun electronic sounds.

The band thanks Adrian Sherwood for the introduction to King Jammy. Adrian Sherwood and his On U Sound label is a good reference point for the sounds on this CD. The opening track Do Dub Up Your Fight has female vocals that make me think of Manda Rin of Bis in their heyday, and a horn riff that apes Roxy Music's Love Is The Drug.

I love bass and I love rhythm. Dry & Heavy are the rhythm section, and Dry & Heavy lead the band. This fact, combined with the Japanese precision of execution (making an imitation that becomes more real that the item it is inspired by) make 'In the Jaws of the Tiger' a CD that you should really hear.

---Carl, April 1, 2003