Montreal probably isn't the first place that comes to mind when thinking about rootsy dub reggae, but Moss Raxlen, aka Mossman, has been working hard to change that.
Through recording and releasing his own deeply dubbed-out adventures in sonic activism, like last year's surprisingly solid Mossman Vs. The World Bank (Dispensation) disc, selling similarly vital ital vibes at his Sketchy Wax store and spinning them at his popular Dub Lounge club nights, Raxlen is waging a one-man dub enlightenment campaign.
While Lee "Scratch" Perry's inspiration was obvious on Mossman Vs. The World Bank -- right down to the piano fills and telltale Mutron effects -- Raxlen's latest collaboration with the Ark of Infinity band, Mossman Vs. Tsunami At Dub Corner (Dispensation/Fusion III), has a more modern electronic-oriented sound that's much closer to the Scientist school of radical reverberation.
"For the Mossman Vs. The World Bank disc," explains Raxlen, taking a break from record scrounging in Brooklyn, "I was really going for that multi-layered sound Lee Perry had back in the day, but the new one is definitely a more modern approach.
"We used drum machines on the whole thing this time, so yes, Scientist was an influence, but as far as engineering techniques, it's always been the big three for us: King Tubby, Lee Perry and the Scientist."
Roots reggae fans planning to check out the Mossman's set will be pleased to know that the scope of Raxlen's collection extends far beyond the holy dub trinity into the obscure jazzy and Afro-funk-flavoured fringes of the thump 'n' bump spectrum.
"Besides spinning some alternate mixes of tracks from the new album and some other things I've got coming out on my label next year, I'll be playing a lot of rarities I've been digging up lately.
"There's nothing like finding a great-sounding one-off where you know there couldn't have been more than a couple of hundred pressed in the early 70s. So it'll be everything from little-known Upsetter disco mixes to old-school ska instrumentals -- I still find that early Don Drummond stuff really inspiring."
MOSSMAN spinning as part of GLIDE with DENISE BENSON and ANDrew Allsgood at Gypsy Co-op (817 Queen West), Wednesday (October 23). $6 door. 416-703-5069.