Look out, everyone; the indie rockers have discovered dub reggae again! Given the proliferation of high-potency weed, this was probably inevitable. Just a couple of weeks ago, Spoon got together with Adrian Sherwood to release Lucifer On The Moon (Spoon Vs. On-U Sound), a dub version of their album Lucifer On The Moon. Now, Leeds post-punk ranters Yard Act have done something similar, teaming with British dub legend Mad Professor for a new take on their debut LP The Overload.
The dub version of The Overload is naturally titled The Overdub, and it’s credited to Yard Act Vs. Massive Professor. The record, from the artwork on down, pays tribute to No Protection, Mad Professor’s classic 1995 deconstruction of Massive Attack’s Protection. Here’s what Yard Act frontman James Smith has to say about the project:
Back when I first moved to Leeds and discovered Jumbo records, I used to treat myself to a record with my student loan once every two or three weeks (bloody students, scrounging bastards). Jumbo always had (and still does have) an excellent dub/reggae selection — and actually released reggae records on its own “Jumbo label” imprint back in the 70s (how ace is that!?).
I had a grounding in reggae from my dad, who’d turned me onto the likes of Burning Spear and Linton Kwesi Johnson, but didn’t really know much about dub music beyond a Bob Marley record produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry he’d given me called African Herbsman. I started dabbling in dub off the back of that. After a few choice “Scratch” cuts and King Tubby best-of, I bought the Jah Shaka Meets Mad Professor record in Jumbo purely because I liked the artwork and because I thought the name was cool. What a purchase. I’ve been a fan ever since. From his work with Lee “Scratch” Perry through U-Roy and of course not forgetting his masterful reinterpretation of Massive Attack’s Protection — the Mad Prof truly is a living legend and it is an absolute honor to have had him stick his dubby fingers all over The Overload.
We’re such a vocal heavy band by trade, so it’s really ace to hear his reimaginings of the tracks largely stripped of that. His bass heavy mixes, for me, are a gorgeous reminder of what supports my ramblings, a reminder of the man I made them with, the backbone of this band, and the genesis of all these musical ideas that started off our adventure together. These mixes pay tribute to the man with 4 strings, those low end things, Mr. Ryan Needham, and whenever I hear this record, not only will I be reminded of the Mad Professor’s greatness, but of our Ry’s as well. NOW GO BLOW SOME SPEAKERS!
Right now, The Overdub is available exclusively on vinyl through Rough Trade; it’s not on streaming. But Yard Act have shared the dub take on “Pour More,” and you can hear it below.
The Overdub is out now on Rough Trade, and you can order it here.