SOUNDTIPS → [DUB SPENCER & TRANCE HILL vs UMBERTO ECHO – too big to fail EP (Echo Beach records]







Dub Spencer & Trance Hill, Switzerland’s dub heroes have teamed up on this new project with Umberto Echo, one of the most sought-after dub remixers this side of the English Channel.

Five years ago Dub Spencer & Trance Hill released their Echo-Beach debut “Nitro”, a sort of spaghetti western in dub with plenty of dynamite. Since then, the Swiss musicians have added three further notches to their list of releases – “Return of the Supercops”, “Riding Strange Horses” and, most recently, “The Clashification of Dub” – as well as several echo-laden cover versions of classic party hits such as “Jeanny” or “Enter Sandman” and canonised songs like “London Calling”, earning them kudos all over the country and setting feet tapping. Little wonder that the band – who are amazing live performers- are almost constantly on tour.

On their last European tour, the dubsters cooperated with the Munich-based mix master Umberto Echo, whose illustrious profile spans several pages. For his debut album DubTrain the jazz label enja (Chet Baker, Abdullah Ibrahim, Rabih Abu-Khalil) set up a special sub-label, enja19. Last year Echo Beach released the album “Dub The World”, which featured his distinctive, ultra-precise dub take on tunes by Sly & Robbie, Seeed, Damian Marley, Stereo MC’s and Gentleman.

At their joint club and festival performances the combination of live band and live mixer turned out to be the proverbial “marriage made in heaven”. On the decks, Umberto Echo transformed Dub Spencer & Trance Hill’s riddims and melodies into thrilling, transcendental sound collages. The vibe was so good that they decided to hit the studio for a joint session after the tour: founding member Marcel Stalder (bass) and his bandmates Julian Dillier (drums), Philipp Greter (keyboards) and Markus Meier (guitar) met up with Umberto Echo at his studio, plugged in and let rip …. And here are the results. It is no exaggeration to say that this meeting of minds is for continental Europe what “Scientist meets Roots Radics” was for Jamaica and “Massive Attack vs Mad Professor” was for England: an alliance too big to fail.


Title: “DUB Spencer & Trance Hill – vs. UMBERTO ECHO – Too big to fail”
Artist: V.A.
Format: CD
Catalogue: Echo Beach CD088
Release date: January 2012


CCD/digital download: (14 tracks – 66:38 minutes playtime)

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