Back in 1996 Greensleeves reissued 'Linval Meets The Space Invaders' with 'Linval presents Space Invaders', an iconic 1981 dub album for which Linval Thompson drew inspiration from the world of computer games and science fiction. For the occasion, the ten original dub tracks were supplemented with a second disc with an equal number of vocal cuts over the same riddims, and the label now does the same for 'Dub Landing Vol. 1 & 2', two albums released after the great success of 'Linval Meets The Space Invaders' on the Starlight Records label of brothers Desmond and Ben Up and their cousin Popsy, who're still running their record business of the same name in Harlesden, in the north of London.
In all fairness we can't but mention the Auralux label already reissued both albums with their 2006 'Dub Landing Volume 1 And 2' package release, but that release only featured the dubs. Just as was the case for 'Linval presents Space Invaders', graphic designer Tony McDermott was given free rein to design new covers for both albums. Especially the design for 'Linval presents Dub Landing Vol. 2' contains quite a few references science fiction and comic book lovers will surely recognize: on the inside flap, for example, the rocket from 'Explorers on the Moon' ('The Adventures of Tintin', Hergé) and the Millenium Falcon from 'Star Wars' can be found.
But back to the music, because that's what it's all about... Everything was recorded at Channel One and mixed at King Tubby's studio on Dromillly Avenue. Behind both releases lies the musical talent of Roots Radics (Errol 'Flabba' Holt - bass, Carlton 'Santa' Davis and Lincoln 'Style' Scott - drums, Eric 'Bingy Bunny' Lamont, Winston 'Bopee' Bowen, Noel 'Sowell' Bailey, Dwight Pinkney and Earl 'Chinna' Smith - guitar, Gladstone 'Gladdy' Anderson, Ansel Collins, Winston Wright, Errol 'Tarzan' Nelson and Wycliffe 'Steely' Johnson - keyboards, and Noel 'Skully' Simms, Christopher 'Sky Juice' Blake, Uziah 'Sticky' Thompson and Bongo Herman - Percussion) and sound engineer Overton 'Scientist' Brown, assisted on the second album by Lloyd 'Prince Jammy' James. The fact that Jammy was not there for the first volume had a good reason: "When Jammy is mixing him don't like if you tell him what to do! But when Scientist is mixing you can say: "Push up that thing... leave out that thing". I can tell him what I feel...".
The first disk of each volume features 10 dubs with titles like 'Invaders', 'Vulcan', 'Meteorite', 'Earth' or 'Reconnaisance', and the other discs 11 vocal cuts over those same riddims, including a number of previously unreleased tracks: Junior Reid's 'Rock This A Riddim', the vocal cut to 'Black Out', Billy Boyo's 'How You String A Sound', the vocal counterpart of 'Meteorite', Sister Nancy's 'Can't Test' ('Reconnaissance' in the dub version) or Papa Tullo's answer to 'Denial', 'Reggae Explosion'. However, where the first volume is concerned, our personal favorites are 'Attack', and especially 'Love Is What The World Wants', Barry Bown's vocal cut over that riddim, and Wayne Wade's 'Everyday Rain', another vocal cut of the aforementioned 'Meteorite'. On 'Linval presents Dub Landing Vol. 2' it were The Viceroys who caught our ear with songs like 'I'm Toiling On' and 'Rise In The Strength Of Jah' we still recognized from their 1982 Linval Thompson produced album 'We Must Unite', supplemented with Lee Van Cleef's 'Gone Water Gone', a deejay version over the riddim of 'Rise In The Strength Of Jah'.
I'm sure it all sounded a lot more futuristic at the time, but these are still two super cool double albums that become even more attractive with all those vocal cuts thrown in!