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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 29 November 2008
Luckily i was able to see Jah on tour. I had listened to some of his other work and I really liked it but I wasnt sure what to expect from "Chinese Dub", i thought the reggae beats and bass would be left out but I was certainly wrong. the vocalists in the band were spine chilling, so perfect and eerie at the same time. The massive range of instruments included te guzheng to simple pots and pans, guitars and of course Jah on bass. Everything came together, everything worked to create a sound like I had never heard before, chinese dub! It was a spectacle for the eyes and ears and I strongly recommend you buy this album it will not dissapoint
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on 5 February 2009
Wobble doing what he does best - great synthesis of trademark bass and western musicians with traditional Chinese music - partly courtesy of Mrs Wobble playing the magical Chinese harp. "This can't possibly work" I thought when I first heard about it - such different musical genres...but by gum it does! By all accounts the live performance was a highlight of WOMAD 2008...
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on 9 March 2009
For anybody lucky enough to have seen one of last years concert performances by Jah Wobble and co of this Chinese Dub material this album is a Godsend. The spirit, enthusiasm, power and fun of the event is wonderfully put across.
Watch your Bass though, Jah delivers some of the most bone throbbing bass by anyone for a long time.
This is world music for none muso's.
WONDERFUL!Chinese Dub
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on 24 February 2009
This album really works, bought it on spec, glad i did, hope mr wobble is going to showcase this album live.
AJ
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on 11 December 2007
This recording features two of China's most expressive instruments: the 4-stringed lute pipa and the 7-stringed classical long zither qin. Cheng Yu is an exceptionally talented musician who plays both pipa and qin to stunning effect. "Flowing Water" brilliantly conveys all the moods of a river from a rushing torrent to a gentle flow, as well as the deeper significance of the music depicting the close friendship of a legendary master musician and the woodcutter who so greatly appreciated his music. The sound of the pipa in "Ambushed on Ten Sides" vividly portrays the sounds and emotions of a historic battle. Three of the pieces are accompanied by the bamboo flute, played by flute virtuoso Wang Ciheng and qin and flute master Li Xiangting. A superb CD and a "must buy".
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on 22 April 2009
Not much to add to other reviews. Just to say that here's yet more of the usual,innovative and high quality Wobble music to be enjoyed by those who know...which should also be discovered by those who don't, yet!
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on 17 March 2009
jah wobble has shown once again that music is the ultimate way that people who do not have a common spoken language can communicate with all the expressions and emotions of the spoken word.
thanks for some more blindingly good music.
nik marcelline, london
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on 18 March 2010
Jah Wobble has already given us Laos Dub (Molom Dub) which was a bit like ancient hip hop, with heavy dub bass lines, but he goes one step further with Chinese Dub. With the help of his wife, Zi Lan Liao, he recruited singers from Tibet and Sichuan and fused his own heavy bass lines and dub sensibilities with 'ancient' Chinese singing and instruments. It must have been great to see on stage and it sounds wonder full too. I think in the future this work will be seen as very forward looking as China assumes the mantle of a world power. The sound is refreshingly unpolished-- some of recorded live.
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on 29 May 2010
I heard Happy Tibetan girl on a world music sampler - I downloaded the rest of the album on the strength of that and I wasn't disappointed. Happy Tibetan Girl is still my favourite track but it's well worth checking out the rest of it.
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