If any one individual can be credited with being the catalyst for English reggae and dub then Dennis Bovell is that man. From the mid-70s onwards he has been at the center of the English reggae scene. Pressure Sounds has now gathered sixteen of Dennis' must have rare dubs and instrumentals as well as a couple of outstanding vocal tracks on one essential album. Decibel brings together some of his heaviest productions out for the first time since their original release in the mid-70s on Dennis' Rama and More Cut labels.
Dennis also produced many dub plates and specials that have never been heard outside of sound system dances and several of these dubs are also featured on Decibel. At the same time as he was producing and playing bass on these records he was doing the same in the band Matumbi and also produced the UK National number one "Silly Games" by Janet Kay. Dennis went on to become a much sought after producer outside of the reggae genre and produced the debut albums of both The Slits and The Pop Group. In more recent times he worked with Edwyn Collins on "Never Known A Girl Like You Before" both producing and playing bass on this hit single. He has always fronted The Dub Band who back LKJ in the studio and live and have remained one of the biggest attractions in reggae. Bovell has somehow managed to be in the unique position of both a producer outside of the reggae genre and a driving force within it.
The music in Decibel concentrates on Dennis' early output with the emphasis on his 'out there' dub productions. "The Grunwick Affair" kicks the album off with a full horn section and is as good as anything produced in Jamaica from the same period. UK musicians from Matumbi and Aswad and the Jamaican drummer 'Style' Scott from the Dub Syndicate all appear on the album. "Harmoniser Dub" with Angus Gaye from Aswad on drums and Dennis playing driving rhythm on bass is a killer. "Zombie Zones," taken from the rare album Audio Active, is as 'thundering' as anything ever released in the UK. Comes complete with super rare photos from the period and comprehensive sleeve notes.