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


Simon said...

The dub version is for me the better album of the two, the original sounds too much like Peter Gabriel doing New Wave, both albums are very 1979/80 sounding.

Boys Outside and it's dub Dub Outside are my favourites on both, the melody on the chorus is just gorgeous. The dub album is probably my album of the year so far.

Mondo said...

It's a great album and thumps along on headphones. Have you tried SuperHeavy yet - a real stinker. A three way honk-off set to the QI theme

swiss adam said...

Love the dub version. A rework that really works.

Mondo said...

Grab it and go Adam - lush stuff