Friday, September 9, 2011
The Good, the Bad and the Reggae
Being a vintage-listening type, ex-Beta Bander Steve Mason's Boys Outside was one of the few 2010 releases to make my end of year round up. Twelve months on he's revisited and refitted the album. Winging in Dennis Bovell to reggae up the setlist - Ghosts Outside is experiments in dub that are King Tubby style, rather than XTC.
The Remix Album is a phrase that you can have you cringing a shoulder or hovering a finger over the skip button. Worst case scenario it's both - usually on projects where some offstage bod is invited onboard to twiddle about a bit, re-sculpting the songs in their favour. Scooping out great chunks of tune and re-filling the spaces where the best bits once were with - soulless fru-fru and whizzery.
So hurrah for Dennis Bovell. All the original hooks and harmonies remain safely in place but the already loose grooves are bulked up with dub so deep you could fall in and never be seen again. Boy's Outside's base-build of slow-drifting tempos and winterish whispers has been warmed up and reheated with looping reverb, ghostly echoes and chunky lumps of thud and thump insulating the newly installed walls of noise. It's not a record to be ignored or used for ambience, but engineered to be heard at high volume.
Steve Mason & Dennis Bovell - Yesterday Dub by DominoRecordCo
In other off-beat offerings: Mick Jagger, Joss stone and Dave Stewart's new project - Superheavy release their debut single - Miracle Worker. My take on it here