I have a confession to make – I’ve been holding back a bit with these initial entries, partly because I don’t want to peak too early but also I don’t want to ruin any surprises when the compilation we’re putting together hits the shelves.
That’s not to say the stuff we’ve shared so far isn’t sterling work but some of the lesser known material, particularly the dubbier end of the spectrum, will hopefully be the main focus of the LP. Saying that, there’s the odd track which I’ve a feeling won’t make the final cull, mainly due to licensing costs, major label dealings can render some records off limits.
One such recording comes from what I’d assume to be a similar studio downtime scenario as Vivien Goldman’s “Launderette”, produced and released sometime around Public Image Ltd’s 1st Issue LP. The project comprised of PiL members Jah Wobble and Keith Levine with the assistance of punky reggae compatriot Don Letts and Wobble’s mate Vince Bracken supplying vocals.
I pulled this out of my bag during a spiky dread selection at the launch party for the Strummer-goes-reggae Shatter The Hotel LP last year. Don took one look at it and unashamedly admitted “I fucking hate that record”. Personally though I love it, especially for the loping dub slump of “Stratetime And The Wideman” which is in fact a sparse rework of War’s “Lowrider”.
Stratetime is far more technical than you may think on a first run through it’s scattering bells and rattling rimshots. Check out the way the bassline plays around the drum pattern, both seemingly simple yet displaying more creative dexterity than many of Wobble and Levine’ skanky associates at the time.
You’re gonna have to crank this up on something nice and bass heavy, a computer speaker wont do it justice…