gullbuy music review

Now Thing


Now Thing - 15 Dancehall Instrumentals


Mo Wax

various artists CD

Now Thing CD coverJamaican dub is an easy to cite influence in many of the records I've written about in the gullbuy. What Mo Wax has done with the 'Now Thing' compilation is gather 15 contemporary instrumental ragga dub (dancehall) songs by new Jamaican artists.

Jamaica has been exporting tons of singles by new artists but they do not reach most stores and they sell out quickly, as they are pressed in one-off quantities. This doesn't mean that they are 'lo-fi' at all. In fact, the tracks have electronics and a production gloss that I usually associate with J-pop discs.

I think that anyone who is even slightly interested in hearing this record will quickly love it. Almost all tracks would fit in DJ sets with the new German and Austrian angular electro/electronic sounds of such labels as Cheap, International DeeJay Gigolo, Shitkatapult, or Bpitch Control.

This is Jamaica's new dub - there are no tracks that directly sound like King Tubby, Augustus Pablo or Lee Perry (great as these masters are). It is similar to the way new Brazilian bands acknowledge lineage from the samba greats but hold court firmly in the present with electronics and samplers alongside traditional instruments and voices.

Sly Dunbar (drummer of Sly & Robbie fame) plays on two cuts (#5 & 6). When you listen to Steely & Clevie's "Nightcrawler" (#9) you can hear a part of the signature organ from B-52s "Rock Lobster". I don't know if it is a sample or just coincidence, but it works its charm. Likewise Andrew Bradford's "Warlord" uses what sounds like the call of a crow as an accent of the drum beats. Excellent!

All of the tracks here have been released on singles by such labels as Greensleeves, Opera House, Golden Cartel, Black Scorpio, Maximum Sound, Slam Productions, Call Me Shams, or Mastermind 2.5. Really fine comp trading little explored grounds.

Faves: 3,4,6,9,10

---Carl, November 27, 2001