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The Police In Dub

DubXanne

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Album Review

Now granted, this was a terrible idea. The members of a Hamburg-based reggae band called Okada decided, probably after imbibing far too much Astra Rotlicht, that what the world needed was a collection of dubbed-up versions of songs from the Police catalog. Most sane people would back away from such an idea, making frantic "shoo" motions with both hands. But these crazy Germans not only went for it, but convinced the Echo Beach label to release the results — and danged if this album doesn't turn out to be plenty of good fun. At times, such as on their version of "Walking on the Moon," the basic tracks (and even the guitar tone) are so closely patterned on the Police's original version that you might be tempted to think the dub was actually based on the master tapes; elsewhere, such as on a dub-funk version of "Message in a Bottle" (featuring a fine vocal performance by reggae legend Earl 16), they depart significantly form the original. Other guest vocalists include Big Youth (on a rootsy version of "So Lonely") and Benjamin Zephaniah, and the great Ranking Roger makes an appearance as well, toasting deftly over "The Bed's Too Big Without You." Purists may scoff, but there's no denying the power of these heavyweight rhythms and the affectionate confidence with which they're reworked and delivered here. Very nice.

The Police In Dub, DubXanne
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