Black Uhuru’s ‘Mystical Truth Dub’ (Tomtit Music Reviews 10)

Reggae masters bring light to the darkness

J.P. Williams
2 min readFeb 2, 2023
Illustration by author.

Black Uhuru is a Jamaican reggae group active since 1972. Mystical Truth Dub (Mesa Recordings, 1993) strips the original Mystical Truth down to choice ingredients — vocals, piano, congas, bass — then digitizes them up with programmed percussion, synth horns and effects inside spacious and bottom-heavy production. This makes every sound a splash of color across a vast canvas. “Bassline” is one you feel bone-deep, “Dreadlock Pall Bearers” strings along like Spacemonkeyz vs. Gorillaz vs. Fela Kuti, and “One Love” is a Sadean quiet storm. Then, in a wonderful gesture of transcultural appropriation, the band dub-covers the English musician Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street” along with its Brazilian forró beat. Other reviews of this album tend to be lukewarm, but I feel like I’ve just discovered my next obsession.

Note: I wrote this for Medium.com. If you are reading this on another platform, it has been pirated. I quit the Medium Partner Program, so I’m not doing this for money. It is nice, however, to know someone’s reading, so please clap or comment to let me know somebody’s out there. Gladius adhuc lucet.

--

--

J.P. Williams

I write about the intersection of arts and ideas. Maybe some short book reviews for a while.