Hollie Cook

Prince Fatty Presents Hollie Cook in Dub

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Hollie Cook's eponymous debut album came as something of a surprise: despite her rich pedigree in punk and avant-garde rock (she is the daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and a former member of the Slits), her first album as a solo artist was a pure genre exercise, a program of strictly roots-and-culture reggae that wouldn't have sounded out of place if it had come out in 1975 on the Studio One label. The sound was rich, thick, and dubby, with a nice assortment of one-drop, rockers, and steppers beats supporting her cool and honey-flavored voice. If she never seemed fully emotionally engaged with her songs (was "It's So Different Here" meant as a lamentation about Third World poverty, or a simple observation of the lack of cars and cellphones in sub-Saharan Africa?), the contrast between her laid-back vocals and the warm density of the grooves worked very nicely. On this dub companion to that album, producer Prince Fatty brings out all of his old-school production tricks: analog (or at least analog-sounding) delay that falls apart as it decays, vocal snippets that fly off into space as soon as they make their momentary appearance, a sound field that feels as big as the universe. There are some anomalies in the program: oddly, there's no version of "It's So Different Here," and there are two dub versions at the end of the program for which no original version existed on the first album. But these curiosities don't detract at all from the disc's overall charm.

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