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Album Review

Better known as Pablo, an English DJ known for his fine taste in breaks and hip-hop, Michael Hunter now also records under the name Butch Cassidy Sound System, and this debut album shows that he's just as adept at sniffing out and thoroughly cannibalizing classic roots reggae material as he is at doing the same to old soul and R&B albums. Butches Brew (har har) finds him mining such rich veins of reggae gold as the Black Ark catalog ("Hear What I Say" is a drastic reworking of the Junior Byles classic "Fade Away"), early-'80s dancehall ("Outsider"), and, er, the Meters (on a skanked-up adaptation of "Cissy Strut"). Obviously, then, not all of Hunter's raw material comes from 1970s Kingston, and touches like the jazz flute on the otherwise deeply rootswise "Rockers Galore" and the solid hip-hop vibe that underpins the spacy dub groove of "Case On Point" add welcome depth and dimension to what could easily have turned into just another slavish tribute to reggae's old school. As it is, Butches Brew is a surprisingly rich and satisfying mélange of flavors and textures. This is what Dub Syndicate sounded like back before Style Scott and Adrian Sherwood decided to start phoning it in. Very highly recommended.

Butches Brew, Butch Cassidy Sound System
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  • £7.90
  • Genres: Reggae, Music, R&B/Soul
  • Released: 03 August 2004

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