Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #238 - Dub Spencer & Trance Hill, "The Clashification of Dub"

A dub version of "Guns of Brixton"? Isn't that like a metal version of "Ace of Spades"? I'm not at all sure I see the point. Still, this covers collection was pointed out to me by Darren "The Difference Engine" Parry, so it will be worth a listen. I really like the Easy Star All-Star dub covers albums too.

"Brixton" is an instrumental version with some extra ghostly noises bandying about, but not as exciting to the mind tonsils as it might be. I don't really even recognise "Lost in the Supermarket". It might just be my shitty laptop speakers but it all sounds quite trebly too. (It was partly my shitty speakers, but it also is not a bass-prominent as it might be.) I think they are all instrumental versions. "Train in Vain" I recognise, but it doesn't seem to head anywhere too interesting.

I'm not sure whether it's because I've caught a glimpse of the characters behind this whole business, but the air is thick and crusty with cheese and onion pastiche. I like the simplicity of dub, which is maybe why I find it so hard to get critical; but there's something a little joyless about the execution here. "Rock The Casbah" starts off drained of all its energy, which is kind of the point, but also not. Something about the Death of Physics floats by my head; but sticks not in my braincleft. It's almost as though it isn't dub at all, but just slowed down and moved around rock music: and that hurts like a punch in one of many kidneys.

"Bankrobber" gains nothing in the translation, a very minimal translation. Some rockabilly guitar line, same drifting melodica. Just no lyrics. My patience is wearing thin, but that might be because I still need to make my tea. There's a European smeary drear on "The Magnificent Seven", which sounds anything but magnificent until some big, ancient sounding Atlantic synth washing in from the West. No reason for "Police and Thieves" either, especially without the vocal, which is great.

Only "London Calling" shifts through any gears, even from the outset sounding more ambitious and on the ball. It's not a straight rendering, but there are some familiar and unfamiliar ingredients bouncing about together in a pleasing fashion. "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" is stretched out into something almost meaningless, all pulsars and free-floating desert guitar. But then I never liked the original that much. It's as if some musical visionary climbed inside the music and pushed it out with all their feet and fingers until a huge plain was created and the music was reached out into it. But not quite as good as that sounds.

Rating: Unnecessary out of Cheese And Kidney

No comments: