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Sheer brilliance/Wobble's best work to date!
on 12 March 2009
Few musicians on this planet are able to fuse totally unrelated styles of music and let them click. However, if there is one musician alive today that is able to do it, it must be England's Jah Wobble (AKA John T. Wardle). Using his wobbly base lines as kind of glue Wobble can mix diverse musical styles together, make it sound authentic and even sneak in his baselines in styles like English Folk or traditional Chinese music without letting it sound out of place.
This CD is an extension of Wobble's earlier albums Molam Dub (in which he fused Jamaican Dub with traditional Asian singing) and Five Tone Dragon (that featured his wife Zi Lan Liao on the Guzheng or Chinese Harp). It must be said that Wobble's former mate from PIL was almost as quick as the high regarded bass player himself with the compilation "China Dub". Will Asian music combined with western elements be the new trend in world music as African music was in the 1980's? Time will tell. But Wobble will be way ahead of the pack, as always.
Wobble travelled to China to enlist several outstanding vocalists for this album. Gu Yinyi is half Mongolian and half Tibetan and a master of Mongolian and Tibetan singing traditions. Ms Wobble, whose input in this project I estimate is almost as important as that of her better half, seems to be the Jimi Hendrix of the Chinese Harp. Good old Wobble devotee Clive Bell plays flute on several tracks and Ku Hsiung Li does an outstanding job with the bamboo flute on several others.
The CD starts with four continuous songs. The amazing vocal technique of the Mongolians, unknown to the West, is heard and Wobble's wife makes her instrumental entrance on a song called "Solitude". My favourite song on the album is "Happy Tibetan Girl". It has the perfect combination of amazing vocals, studio programming and a catchy bass line.
In my honest opinion this is Wobble's best work to date in a catalogue of 30 albums! (though I must confess I don't own all of them). This album has an originality and freshness to it that seems to be almost extinct in the music world.