Dr. Israel Live

Dr. Israel brought his Dreadtone International tour-featuring Lady K, Chemda and Heavyweight Dub Champions- to a packed house in San Francisco's Mission District in early December in support of his first full length in years, Patterns of War. Doc was in every way in top form and he is clearly a musical force that cannot be ignored. Backed by three heavily dreaded dub artists, the musical foundation of the set is entirely electronic: including Doc, the rhythm section is flowing through four mixing boards, a maze of electronic knobs and buttons swirling into a medusa pit of audio cables and bobbing dreadlocks. The music flows non-stop, more like a DJ than a band. At times it's a future world beat sound, with a sticky, gooey, lushly layered mix that draws heavily from roots rock reggae, dub and drum and bass to go places where no band has gone before. Dr. Israel presides over the groove; his own mixer and electronic gear front and center stage like a pulpit, where he skillfully drives the mix from one track to another, a post-modern band leader. Doc is a non stop ball of energy onstage: it's all about DANCING and Doc is looking like an aerobics instructor these days, his tattooed body and long dreads bouncing high into the air throughout the night. Vocally, Doc is an icon, his voice strong, clear and clearly his, whether sending a yelp into a swirling haze of dubby delay feedback, delivering a hard hitting rap, a political sermon, or laying down one word a musical measure like a human sampler.

Thematically, everything is on message, with tales of Brooklyn, Babylon and Revolution. While drawing heavily from the new album, Doc also digs into his back catalog, including a number of gems from his recently re-issued classic Inna City Pressure. It's all about defending the downtrodden and the poor, sticking up for people's rights against the man, stopping the war, the call for true justice.

A number of jams into the set, Doc brings two gifted female vocalists onstage, Lady K and Chemda- both featured on the new album- and the sound coming from the stage swells to an incredibly powerful peak. Chemda lays down some stunning Middle Eastern 24 tone vocal riffs that has the crowd howling. For the encores, Doc hands the mic to a favorite MC- identity unknown to this writer- who blows the folks away with his rootsy rapping about the power of music being able to take you away. And the crowd is along for the ride. Dr. Israel is still an artist in his ascendency; it's hard to say how far he will lead the way, but it's looking like his pulse will be informing the universe for aeons to come.

Related Downloads
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Dr. Israel
song:The Doctor vs The Wizard
album:Inna City Pressure (ROIR)
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