Trojan Dub Massive: Chapter One
Review by David Jeffries
Jump ahead to the danker and gooier Chapter Two if you want your mind blown, because Trojan Dub Massive: Chapter One is lazier and pulls punches. With the Dub Massive series, producer/remixer/what-have-you Bill Laswell gets access to the deep reggae catalog of the Trojan label and grabs his favorite dubs for, as the liner notes put it, "enhancing." Just as he did with Miles Davis on Panthalassa and Bob Marley on Dreams of Freedom, Laswell respects his source while remixing, and brews up a concoction the original parties would most likely approve. The only time this chapter deserves a stunned "wow man" is when Laswell really twists the knobs and makes the Upsetters' "Lover's Skank" sound like the intro to the Who's "Eminence Front." Otherwise, he's only twisting things a bit, making everything sound thicker, and adding trippy segues to make this a journey instead of a collection of tracks. The segues and flow are much better on Chapter Two, but the general arc of the disc is just fine, and ending with the earthy spiritualism of Ras Michael is a smooth move from a guy who obviously knows his Trojan. Hearing Ras Michael chanting in the distance as your Laswell-supplied lunar cruiser drives across the moon dunes sets the stage perfectly for the more ambitious Chapter Two (it also suggests that an all-nyahbinghi remix set from Laswell would be divine). Start there if you want your Trojan well Laswelled, then come back to Chapter One when you're feeling less "out there."
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