At one time part of a 17-track label roundup, the most recent version of On-U Sound's first Pay It All Back disc now features only 13 slices of producer Adrian Sherwood's dystopically digital future-reggae. And while a more generous repackaging move would have been appreciated, this collection still ranks as one of the better volumes in the series. Featuring the full panoply of Sherwood's dark and dubby oeuvre, the selections range from Lee Perry's electronic machinations with the Dub Syndicate ("Train to Doomsville") and some recast calypso by African Head Charge ("What a Wonderful Day") to industrial protestations compliments of singer Gary Clail ("False Leader") and a futbol-chorus-and-beats theme from Barmy Army ("Billy Bonds M.B.E."). The rough-hewn, metallic backdrop is provided by members of the unofficial On-U house band, Tackhead (bassist Doug Wimbish and guitarist Skip McDonald), and core members of the venerable Jamaican dancehall group the Roots Radics. A fine way to start your On-U Sound collection.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook