Encounters Pac-Man at Channel One

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One of two fine LPs Scientist cut from Linval Thompson rhythms -- the other is the even more impressive Scientist Meets the Space Invaders -- Scientist Encounters Pac Man finds the onetime King Tubby protégé forging his patented minimal sound, a landscape resplendent with steely piano, depth-charge drums, and futuristic dub effects. Scientist also delivers one of his most progressive mixes here, deconstructing the originals down to their skeletal base and adding just the right amount of mixing board-generated Echoplex and reverb. And helping out considerably with the heady proceedings, the early dancehall period's greatest band, the Roots Radics, lay down the brutal rhythms and subtle keyboard and guitar interjections. Plus, one gets another of artist Tony McDermott's spectacular comic-book covers, this time depicting all of the studio Svengali's horror-movie nemeses from album jackets past (vampires, zombies, Frankenstein, those space invaders, and now the computer game's star of the day, Pac Man). A mind-warping yet eminently enjoyable way to check into dub central.

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