Ruts

Rhythm Collision Reloaded

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This album has its origins in a more or less standard-issue pub rock band called Hit & Run; when that group fell apart, some of its alumni put together a punkier outfit called the Ruts. When the Ruts' drummer overdosed, the surviving members renamed themselves the Ruts D.C. (meaning "da capo," a musical annotation meaning "start again from the beginning") and started incorporating reggae more explicitly into their sound. The recorded results were a bit chaotic, but one release gained a foothold in the U.S. -- a set of what sounded like dub versions ripped unceremoniously from their original context and presented under the title Rhythm Collision. Produced by the legendary Mad Professor and released in the U.S. on the ROIR label, Rhythm Collision found a small but enthusiastic cult following. More than 25 years later, a handful of DJs and producers put together this tribute album, a collection of 13 remixes (including two billed as "bonus tracks" on the CD) covering six of the songs from the original album. Several remix artists appear multiple times: Rob Smith deconstructs "Weak Heart" and "Whatever We Do" twice each as well as the title track; Steve Dub, Salz, and Dreadzone both make double appearances as well. The mixes themselves are a stylistically mixed bag, as you might expect: Dreadzone's mix of "Accusation" is rockish, with a meat-and-potatoes rhythm and slyly cut-up vocals; Go Home Production's mix of "Love & Fire" is nothing but old-school dub reggae; Steve Dub's take on "Accusation" departs furthest from the reggae mainstream, bringing a weird sense of foreboding to the mix as well. One or two tracks fail to shine any new light, but overall this album is a welcome companion to the original album, which remains a classic of the genre.

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