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Album Review

In 1999, Jah Wobble organized a band he called Deep Space. It was built around the idea of combining the haunting sound of bagpipes with constantly shifting bass and drum parts and to incorporate layers of electronic sounds into the sound as well. For years he had trouble getting the latter element just right, until he tried including the avant-garde turntablism of Philip Jeck. Wobble, Jeck, and drummer Mark Sanders now form the nucleus of Deep Space, and are joined on this album by pipers Clive Bell and Jean-Pierre Rasle, trumpeter Harry Beckett, guitarist Chris Cookson, and singer Cat Von-Trapp. The result is fascinating and mostly quite viscerally engaging as well. The appropriately titled "Five Beat," both parts of which are based on a 5/4 rhythmic pattern, starts out as a spacy, almost ambient groove with highly abstract turntable parts (Jeck's approach is more Christian Marclay than Rob Swift); then, in part two, things start getting really strange, with some nice muted trumpet and lots of slipping, sliding tempos. On "Just Me & Phil" the beat shuttles between 4/4 and 7/8 while Wobble rumbles around below like a Balkan Bill Laswell. "Jeck, Drums, 2 Basses" is sort of an extra-slippery slip jig that segues into "Singing," which features Cat Von-Trapp (singing somewhat like Wobble's old colleague Ari Up) and lots of cool dubwise effects. Very nice.

Five Beat, Jah Wobble & Deep Space
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