The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Reviews

Various Artists
Trevor Jackson Presents: Science Fiction Dancehall Classics Bob Cluness , October 8th, 2015 08:32

Add your comment »

The press release that comes with Science Fiction Dancehall Classics, a new 2 CD/3LP, 27-track compilation of classic cuts, rarities and remixes curated by artist, re-mixer and producer Trevor Jackson, states that the compilation represents the more avant, electronic side of the On-U Sound label. What it actually means to say is that it showcases the more avant side of Adrian Sherwood.

But if we're being honest, On-U Sound is Adrian Sherwood. When he's not producing or remixing artists or bands on the label, then he is in actual groups, (such as with Fats Comet, Tackhead, or Missing Brazilians) or running under an alias (Voice Of Authority). Sherwood is the main thread that runs throughout Science Fiction Dancehall Classics and the canny selections Jackson has excavated highlight the impact he has made on bass music, a human hub at the centre of a sprawling network that fosters cross pollination and cultural exchanges between Jamaican underground reggae and dub, post-punk experimentalism and the burgeoning fields of hip hop and UK dance music.

While some of the tracks and artists will be recognisable to many On-U Sound aficionados – Creation Rebel & New Age Stepper's 'Chemical Specialist', African Head Charge's 'Off The Beaten Track' and Mark Stewart & The Maffia's 'The Wrong Name And The Wrong Number' – Jackson places a greater emphasis on teasing out more outré and unconventional sounds, hard to find one-offs tracks that mirror many of Sherwood's productions. Keith LeBlanc's 'Move' and Atmosfear's 'When Tonight Is Over' for example, have no actual connection On-U Sound itself, only being included by virtue of being produced or remixed by Sherwood. Such tenuous track selections though provide some genuine ear tweakers. The Chicken Granny's 'Quit The Body' for example, is a burst of twitchy, furious percussion and bass allied with shrieking, unhinged vocals. The Circuit, an alias of composer Steve Beresford, features with three tracks - 'Loudspeaker', the unreleased 'Dead Come Alive' featuring a pre-fame Neneh Cherry, and 'Aiming At Your Heart' featuring the always tender and soulful Shara Nelson - all of which are a bristling meld of street-smart electro toughness and otherworldly sonic improvisations.

The title of the compilation, with its emphasis on Sci-fi aesthetics is very telling here. In his book More Brilliant Than The Sun, Kodwo Eshun (in)famously stated that "Dub demands symbiosis that externalises the mind, drastically re-configuring the human producer into a machine being, an audio cyborg." While dub producers such as Scientist and Lee Scratch Perry have often waxed about the wonders of outer space, Science Fiction Dancehall Classics sees Sherwood's trad dub cyborg producer undergoing a technological recalibration and cross contamination with post-punk and industrial, the end result creating music tailored for urban innerspace. Organic rhythms sounds are replaced by the synthetic clicks and gurgles of electronic machines. Dub Syndicate's 'Over Board' is awash with metallic hisses and fluorescent synths that rake across your brain. Meanwhile the mid compilation salvo of Keith LeBlanc's 'Move', Tackhead's 'Now What?', and Voice Of Authority's 'Stopping And Starting', with their rigid beats and brutalist sensibilities, highlight the evolution of industrial music from harsh noise collages to dance driven rhythms, complete with electro pulses, vocal cut ups and samples.

Although there have been numerous retrospectives and "best of" compilations from the On-U sound label in the past, the release of Science Fiction Dancehall Classics feels a lot more judicious this time around. After seemingly being left behind to the historical wilderness for a long period, we're beginning to see a more thorough reassessment of the impact and influence that Sherwood and the dub explorations of the On-U Sound label brought upon UK music and beyond. As well as the continuing fruitful collaborations between himself and Croydon producer Pinch – producing the wonderful Late Night Endless earlier this year – Sherwood is now being heralded as an elder statesman of bass, providing lectures on recording techniques over at the Red Bull Music Academy. Science Fiction Dancehall Classics, with its blend of revamped urban dub and bizarre cybernetic aesthetics, proves the most suitable companion primer to Sherwood's own 2015 selective compilation, Sherwood At The Controls, Vol. 1: 1979-1984.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.

Manic Inventor
Oct 9, 2015 4:05pm

While it may be interesting to know that the reviewer has read Kodwo Eshun, quoting the man's pomo gibberish really adds nothing to the review. Be your own (wo)man please. Better to fail in one's own words than to show off by inserting incomprehensible quotes.

Reply to this Admin

freeplaycheats.com/
Feb 28, 2017 3:43pm

All of us have been looking for the generator at this website and it has always generated some simoleons.

Reply to this Admin

Wiz Essay
Jul 14, 2017 5:56am

This album is really good one and has total different style can be seen in the tracks present in the albums. I liked the way how Jackson has tried to produce each and every songs which are present in this album. This is what made this science fictional classics a huge hit with all the 27 tracks are impressive.

Reply to this Admin

reecoupons.com
Jul 31, 2017 6:50am

This is a great press release that is useful in different manner. Really want to avail this. Thanks for posting the great information about the features of this new release. This is very unique because of the organic rhythms sounds are replaced by the synthetic clicks and gurgles of electronic machines.

Reply to this Admin

jumble solver multiple words
Sep 6, 2017 1:13pm

Thanks for the site.

Reply to this Admin