Few modern day practitioners of heavy psychedelic dub capture its joyously outlandish spirit as well as bicoastal riddim warriors Sound Imperium. Throughout Pre-Emptive Dub Attack
, Paul Harding and Dave Park gleefully emulate Scientist's claustrophobic, rhythm-centered worldview, right down to his love of the echoplex and sickly sweet ganja. Many artists have attempted to recapture the dystopian spirit of '70s Jamaica, but Sound Imperium have a true feel for the grit, circumstance and crime that lifted that scene to prominence.
You can practically see the smoke pouring from the duo's ears as "Mi Gente" stacks resin-coated horns and a Jah Wobbly bassline atop Bobby Aleman and Berts' ragged toasting. The epic "Radioactive Love" is full-on space-dub, adorned with loads of cosmic effects and nasty digital bass dirges, while the paranoid, damning "Crimestopper" mirrors the confusion and disdain for authority so eagerly displayed by early dub practitioners like Junior Murvin and the Congos.
Pre-Emptive Dub Attack's reliance upon prevailing technology ultimately means that the album forsakes the deep soul of Studio One sessions for whizzing effects and crystal clear sound. In the end, however, the duo's obvious love for the foundations of dub and reggae helps to atone for the disc's modernist slant. Coxone would most certainly approve.