Album: Easy Star All-Stars, ****

Dub Side Of The Moon, Easy Star

Friday 13 December 2013 02:01

A dub version of The Dark Side of the Moon. Why didn't someone think of this before? It is, after all, merely a belated collusion of two doper-friendly genres from the same era: King Tubby and Lee Perry devised their dub-reggae psychedelia at almost exactly the same time (1973) that Pink Floyd were scaling their melancholy pinnacle of prog-rock introspection. At the time, it would have been an unthinkable transgression of aesthetic and racial boundaries, attitudes retrospectively rendered absurd by the charm of these cover versions. Not only does Roger Waters' cosmic disillusion transfer smoothly to the moral piety of rasta "sufferation", but the languid tempi and familiar melodies seem custom-built for reggae. There are inventive touches, too, from the skittering drum'n'bass of "On the Run" to the Tubby-style flying-cymbal dub of "The Great Gig in the Sky", where the wailing-woman vocal seems more congruent than on the original. Sluggy Ranks is appropriately laid-back on "Breathe", Frankie Paul suitably impassioned on "Us and Them", and Ranking Joe's Big Youth-style toasting brings a new urgency to "Time", which is also reprised later as a melodica dub. The most inventive alteration, though, is on "Money", which opens with a groove made up from sequenced sounds of lighter, toke, bong-bubble and cough.

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