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Drum & Bass Strip to the Bone By Howie B

Sly & Robbie

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Album Review

This isn't drum'n'bass in the currently understood sense, it's drum & bass in the original (that is to say, the reggae) sense. On this album, drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare, two of the most widely recorded musicians in the world and two of the architects of modern reggae, join forces with noted techno producer Howie B and step off into the dark nether region of dub-inflected electronic dance music that they helped to discover, and began to map, over 20 years ago. If the music is only mildly compelling, it's not for lack of attractive textures and watertight rhythms. It's because Sly & Robbie have always made their best contributions when they've been working behind great singers; when they step to the fore, the results are always mixed. Here they vary from highly effective (as on the fairly straightforward rocker's reggae of "Ballistic Squeeze") to long-winded and boring ("Exodub Implosion"). Howie B does do a great job with the sound throughout, however. This disc is definitely worth owning, but don't trade in any of your vintage Channel One collections for it.

Drum & Bass Strip to the Bone By Howie B, Sly & Robbie
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