Sunday, 29 November 2009
Dolby The D - Gone Clear 12"
It's p*ssing down with rain again and this is the forth Sunday in a row that the Car-Boot-Sales have been a no-no. I can't remember a winter where we've had this much rain. I know England is renowned for it's miserable wet weather but it's been years since it prevented me from going digging in the fields on a Sunday morning for a WHOLE MONTH STRAIGHT. Gonna have to make time for a midweek Charity Shop excursion to try and compensate for it.
So instead of driving round to South Coast fields all morning I've spent the time flicking through my own shelves looking for an interesting record to write about on here. What I finally settled on is this 12" by relatively unknown U.K. artist 'Dolby The D'. I say 'relatively unknown' because I'm not 100% sure he hadn't already put out another 12" under the name 'Dolby D' a few years before.
I bought this record a couple of summers back at my local Boot-Sale on a hunch that I recognised the name (plus the fact the track listing included a freestyle and bonus beats). I was sure I'd seen the name written amongst some shout outs on the back of another U.K. Hip Hop record. Turns out that hunch was semi correct. On the back of Blade's 'Mind Of An Ordinary Citizen' 12" it reads... "Soon To Breakthrough Hard:-(i) K King & Baron, Forte Apache alongside Capone, Hard Noise, B Sprint, Black Knights, Dolby D, Doc & Dazzle, Starlite Assault Squad (SAS), Gunshot, 2 X Def, Outlaw Posse, Bad Intention, Catch 22, Standin' Ovation, Construction, Jus Ghetto Posse, Ardon & Davis". A quick google search revealed that 'Dolby D' had put out a 12" in 1989 called 'Loud N Clear'. Now I've never heard this record but I'm assuming that 'Dolby D', is more than likely the same person and for one reason or another decided to add 'The' to the middle of his name at a later date. I noticed Disorda played the 'Loud N Clear' track on one of his radio shows, so if you're reading this mate, maybe you can clear up whether it is in fact the same guy.
So anyway, the 'Gone Clear' 12" was released in 1993. There's no date listed on the label but he states the year in the first line of the track. It features four versions of 'Gone Clear' - Urban, Suburban, Instrumental and Bonus Beats as well as a short 'Bonus Freestyle'. I can't work out any differences between the 'Urban' and 'Suburban' mixes, the 'Instrumental' is self explanatory, and the 'Bonus Beats' is just the striped down drum track. The production is pretty solid throughout with 'Long Red' snare stabs beefing up the already snappy drums and deep bassline. Don't expect no uptempo Britcore action on here - this is from 1993 and like most U.K. Hip Hop of the time things had slowed down drastically. In fact listening to this reminded me of the overall vibe on the 'Ruffness - The British Underground' E.P. which came out in the same year. Wouldn't have fitted in quite nicely on that I think.
Dolby The D's rhymes are on the straight forward freestyle bragging tip and he rides the beat well. The cuts on the chorus are also competent enough - nothing amazing, but still pretty nice all the same. He is also credited for the production with co-production by Herbie Laidsley & Flacky C. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this 12" is a must have U.K. rap classic, because it isn't. It is however a very solid release which deserves a bit of shine on the Internet (the only reference to it I could find was a listing on Discogs and a Japanese auction on Yahoo). Hopefully this write up will spark a bit of interest amongst U.K. collectors who previously might not have heard it and want to try tracking down a copy for themselves.
I've also included a scan from Hip Hop Connection #4 which features a pretty crap interview with Dolby D. The article is completely throwaway but at least puts a face to a name (if it is in fact the same guy).
Dolby The D 'Gone Clear' (1993 G-Tone Records U.K. 12")