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Ticklah Vs. Axelrod

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Album Review

The title sounds straightforward enough, but it's not. Ticklah and Victor Axelrod are, in fact, the same person. So whether this is fun, ego, or plain schizophrenia remains to be seen, but on the basis of the music here, fun seems the likely motive. The New York-based producer and member of Antibalas has created his own kind of dub record here. The dub style is recognizable, but there are plenty of twists like "Mi Sonsito," which is more ska than anything, and his morphing of the Eddie Palmieri classic "Si Hecho Palante" from Latin to reggae. He employs some first-rate vocalists, such as Mayra Vega and Rob Symeonn, while bassist Victor Rice leaves his inimitable prints all over the disc with his solid but imaginative playing. Ticklah himself is subtle in the ways he uses his personality on this disc. His dub is never overwhelming in the older Jamaican style, but more in the touches and ideas, taking the tracks of his real self and loosening the edges. There's plenty of interesting work going on here.


Born: Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Multifaceted musician Victor Axelrod goes by a number of aliases depending on the particular style he's covering, but his most prominent persona is Ticklah, a project he created as an outlet for roots reggae. Even with a background spanning jazz, funk, and soul outlets, reggae revivalism revealed itself as the most suitable genre for the keyboardist/producer due to a natural knack for re-creating the trippy vintage Jamaican sounds of King Tubby and Lee Perry. In 1998, Axelrod recorded his first Ticklah...
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Ticklah Vs. Axelrod, Ticklah
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