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Dub ye not....
on 5 September 2012
I could not differ more wildly from the previous five star reviewer. I say this with truly a deeply heavy, heavy heart.
This disc is one of the most disappointing things I've spent £10 on for a long time. Having been jolly excited about the whole premise since I first got wind of it, I've now listened to it twice and tried my hardest to pluck one thing to like about it.
On the face of it it's a dream combination. The good Doctor and Scratch... together at last. Towers of Dub meets the Super Ape. What could go wrong?
If like me you're buying this on the strength of a love for tunes like Towers of Dub, Tower 23 or conversely Dread Lion or Enter the Dragon and your mouth is watering at the whole damn prospect of them gloriously meshing... you're in for a major shock.
What you're served up is 11 tracks of absolute mediocre unimaginatively drum machined boredom... with Lee Perry rambling over the top. Now, I should say I am a great fan of Scratch Perry and equally I have been a great fan of the Orb since my raving days when Adventures beyond the Ultraworld first dropped. Both artists have produced sublime moments through their careers so it's remarkably perplexing that together, they can produce something that is just so very flat, hollow and... well, lazy.
I've not been a big fan of Scratch's latest releases, soft, almost pop synth "reggae" with his increasingly eccentric ramblings stamped over it. If you liked his release from last year "Rise Again", you may like this... I didn't and I don't.
Bearing in mind Alex Paterson's absolutely scorching Trojan collection - I'll Be Black (if you haven't got it... GET IT!) it's obvious he has a deep understanding of reggae and dub - so I just can't figure out what this LP is all about. The pared back style is totally devoid of feeling and.. well, feeling. It's a synthetic procession of dull drum patterns - all filler and no killer I'm afraid.
Perhaps The Orb have been too reverential in working with one of the greats in letting him take centre stage to such a large degree. I know not - the most frustrating thing is knowing just how bloody great these guys can be. This would have been a truly incredible collab if you'd taken Alex Paterson circa U.F.O.R.B and thrown him in a studio with Scratch circa Super Ape.
By all means give it a whirl but I for one feel desperately short changed by this and can only day dream at what could've been. Sorry Alex and sorry Lee.