Pop on Record: Bob Marley `Dreams Of Freedom - Ambient Translations Of Bob Marley In Dub

Island 524 419-2
Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
It must have seemed like a good idea on paper: Bob Marley & The Wailers' most well-known tracks remixed in dub style by Bill Laswell, the gifted bassist/producer whose CV includes work with The Last Poets, Bootsy, PiL, Herbie Hancock and many diverse strains of avant-garde and world musics. Great tunes, an experienced producer - what could go wrong?

For a while, as "Rebel Music" builds up a fair head of steam, it seems to be working well; but as the likes of "No Woman No Cry", "Exodus", "Waiting In Vain" and "Burnin' And Lootin'" slide by unobtrusively, it's clear that the decision not to include Marley's vocals was a fatal mistake, one which denudes the songs of their essential soul. The appearance of The I-Threes on a few tracks is a blessed relief, going some way to resuscitating the heart of the song, but the absence of Marley's poignant, uplifting voice makes these dubs seem like ghost-scapes, brilliant but empty exercises in studio technique. The faint electronic voice singing the chorus of "Exodus" serves only to ram the point home: surely, the song wasn't about the movement of Jah synthesisers?

Comments