For nearly 25 years now, Israel Vibration
has been one of the most beloved bands in reggae, not only for their conscious lyrics and heavenly harmonies, but also for their strength in remaining positive in the face of adversity after being stricken with polio as children. Coming on the heels of last year's wonderful boxed set, The Power of the Trinity, Dub Combo
features instrumental remixes of songs from the band's last two albums, Jericho
and Pay the Piper
, and although hardly essential for casual reggae fans, it is a fine bit of heady dub for Israel Vibration
devotees. The best reason to buy it is the Roots Radics, reggae's premiere backing band, whose razor sharp grooves bless ten of the album's 16 tracks. From the soulful roots reggae of the opening "False Babylon" to the buoyant, syncopated ska riddims of "Show Me the Money," these songs remain strong with or without vocals. And while the production (by the band and Flabba Holt
) lacks the creative, experimental touch of dub greats like Lee Perry or Mad Professor
, the infectious grooves make up the difference.