Lee "Scratch" Perry / Adrian Sherwood

Dub Setter

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Not so much a true dub version but maybe a dub companion album, Dub Setter features remixes, dubs, outtakes, and “radical reworks” with Perry and Sherwood's Mighty Upsetter album as the source. Make note, these “reworks” are extra “radical,” as in unexpected, even from these two dub mavericks. After two thick and dank dubs that sound like the duo's 1990 effort From the Secret Laboratory but without all the robotics, Dub Setter dives into the unclassifiable with the slow, soft fusion of “Lucky Tarzan,” a cut featuring plenty of sax, gypsy violins, and a solid reggae bassline. Sherwood's work with the Asian Dub Foundation is a heavy influence on the tabla-filled “Elixir of Life,” but nothing in either of the duo’s back catalogs sounds like the exotic “Taboo,” which could be passed off as a Jamaican house band recording Salon music for a David Lynch soundtrack. Every clever and outlandish idea is anchored by full-bodied grooves, and when it comes to sonics, this is a warm, dynamic sound field that's prime for an attentive headphone listen. Highly recommended for the musically adventurous, but Perry fans with expectations should be warned that the album does tip toward Sherwood, and even in Scratch's wildly varied discography, a slow, sumptuous dub album with tablas and some Euro-nostalgia is still a curveball.

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