In a cultural soundclash of sorts, Sub Dub mashes up Jamaican dub vibrations with winding Middle Eastern riffs and illbient breaks culled straight from the rough-and-tumble streets of NYC. This particular record compiles two of their earlier EPs along with previously unavailable material. Check the reverbed splash of "Rhythm Collision" or the dub-steppa workout that is "Vision Quest 2" for a taste. If you appreciate these sounds, keep an eye out for Raz Mesinai's (1/2 of Sub Dub) side project Badawi as well. Wicked riddims, 'nuff said. Brock Phillips
For fans of the experimental reggae-dub-Middle Eastern duo Sub Dub (Raz Mesinai and John Ward), the privately-released EPs "Babylon Unite" and "Dawa Zangpo" were like minor holy grails, always to be sought and rarely to be found; "Sub Tools" was nothing but a cruel hoax, an EP that was rumored to have been recorded but had never been commercially released. Blessings be upon the heads of those at the Agriculture label who, in 2001, worked with Mesinai and Ward to produce this continuous-mix compilation of all three EPs, making these dark, funky and exotic tracks available again to Sub Dub's small but adamant cult following. At this point in the duo's career, their sound consisted mainly of variations on a dark trip-hop and dub theme: "Monuments on Earth" leans to the reggae side with its slow, elephantine groove and one-drop rhythmic structure; "Dawa Zamgpo" is more of a rolling hip hop affair, with jazzy acoustic bass, occasional turntable flourishes and an ethnic vocal sample taken straight off an old African Head Charge album. "Babylon Unite" is a two-part instrumental steppers athem that may or may not have reference to ancient Persia but definitely gets abstract and not especially fun in the second half. Overall, this is a fascinating and occasionally slightly disturbing excursion into the dark underbelly of dub, and be recommended without reservation to all fans experimental dub and electronica.
All Music Guide