00:00 - 1 - the big rip off
03:14 - 2 - road block
07:08 - 3 - curly dub
11:02 - 4 - well red
13:34 - 5 - gun trade
17:09 - 6 - Shake Up
20:34 - 7 - Hillside Airstrip
23:46 - 8 - Barbwire Disaster
26:18 - 9 - mr. big
30:07 - 10 - Eli's Move
32:36 - 11 - House Raid
36:05 - 12 - Shake Down
Producer: Tommy Cowan, Warrick Lyn
recording engineer: Ronald Logan, Sylvan Morris
Mixing engineer: King Tubby
Recording studios: Dynamic Sounds, King Tubby's, Harry J
LP: Starapple STAR LP 004 (1974), Trojan TRLS 115 (1975), Abraham TRLS 115, Lagoon LG2
CD: Culture Press CP 4007 (1999)
From the first hit "Java", which dates back right to start of the 70s, Augustus Pablo became the archetype of a musical form which may have been present in principle in the beginnings of dub but which he developed in his own way on his melodica.
This unusual instrument, a cousin of the harmonica, half-way between the flute and the piano, attracted musicians of note like Glen Brown and Joe White. However, Augustus Pablo was the one who embraced the foundations of nascent Rastafarianism most naturally.
Although reggae is above all a protest movement which uses the lyrics of a song to convey its message, he chose an unconventional route based on instrumental compositions (Pablo's magical sound is beyond words for a faithful Rasta). The astonishing sensitivity of Augustus Pablo led to a variation of reggae which went against the trend of vocal trios which were starting to become popular such as the Wailers and Culture. At the same time, Pablo became the leader of a new style which was rich and promising: dub.
At the start of the 70s, Augustus Pablo, alongside the rhythm section of Barrett and Lloyd Adams, was the inspiration of a movement called "rebel rock music". "Ital Dub" forms part of his early recordings, midway between the perfect raw success of "Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown" and the spare, light "Far East" sound based on the bewitching side of his melodica which inspires meditation and contemplation. In fact, "Ital" was the essence of the spirit of the Rasta community at the time. The word means vital, natural, and defends the precepts of a lifestyle and diet which regulated Jamaican musical society.
"Ital Dub" is a collection of standards interpreted by Augustus Pablo: "Mr. Big Rip Off" and "Gun Trade" are versions of Jacob Miller's "Forward Jah Jah Children" and "Five Go Burn Them". Similarly, "Road Black" and "Mr. Big" come from Bob Marley, "House Raid" from Peter Tosh, "Curly Locks" from Junior Byles and "Eli's Move" is a cover of Yabby You's biblical classic.
The "Ital Dub" album, just like "This Is Augustus Pablo" (his first L.P.) and "East Of The River Nile" (his masterpiece) contain a real force, the seeds of a roots style. The scope of these records goes beyond the merely musical aspect because the melodica acts as a springboard which extends thought into a new mystical dimension. Augustus Pablo experienced the start of dub and evolved along with his peers, King Tubby and Lee Perry.
He has taken over a whole strand of reggae music with his "Rockers" label which issued Hugh Mundell's splendid "Africa Must Be Free". Today, Pablo manages Junior Delgado, Yami Bolo and Ragamuffin Style. Although the "Far East" sounds have been replaced by a string synthesizer, Augustus Pablo is still the emblematic figure of roots reggae.
Franck Jacques (1992)
All tracks from Ital Dub album are collected on "The Great Pablo" CD, whit several others, the best of Augustus Pablo's early work.