POSITIVE DUB, the dub companion to Black Uhuru's previous album, was a sedate affair in the manner of Burning Spear's GARVEY'S GHOST: simple instrumental versions of the songs with a minimum of effects or studio trickery. 1990's NOW DUB could not be more different. A head-spinning collection of up-to-the-minute sound collages, NOW DUB is as exciting a dub album as Black Uhuru has ever made, and in some ways is preferable to its vocal counterpart.
The highlight is the opener, "Reggae Rock," a startling early work by UK dub mixer A Guy Called Gerald that's like a blueprint for trip-hop and jungle, the defining British dance music styles of the '90s. The pie-eyed deconstruction of "Hey Joe"--yes, a reggae version of the old garage-rock standard--is even more extreme, sounding like Lee "Scratch" Perry at his wildest. The other eight tracks are nearly as exciting.