Bill Laswell

Trojan Dub Massive: Chapter Two

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Right from the get-go, it's apparent that Chapter Two of Bill Laswell's Trojan remix project is going to be a darker, freakier journey than Chapter One. Lee "Scratch" Perry's growl welcomes listeners to the more serpentine world of Trojan Dub Massive: Chapter Two, and with the extra echo and soundscape-widening producer/remixer/what-have-you Bill Laswell lays on the track, the chill Perry usually induces just got thicker. Not ridiculously thick, though. Just as he did with Miles Davis on Panthalassa and Bob Marley on Dreams of Freedom, Laswell respects his source while remixing, and brews up a concoction the original parties would most likely approve. Trojan Dub Massive: Chapter Two keeps the slink and spirit of the original Trojan dub cuts intact while adding cistern-sized reverb, quirky folds and filters, and nocturnal segues that make this more of a journey than a collection of tracks. He's also done a great job disappearing behind the music, letting Trojan be Trojan and only "placing" and "enhancing" the music according to the booklet. Save the segues and a few slick tricks that call out the release's post-2000 origins, you could be fooled into thinking this is an original Trojan release if you only had a boombox around. Headphones or an excellent sound system along with a back-pocket familiarity with the tracks are required to catch the bulk of Laswell's input, but that's what makes Trojan Dub Massive: Chapter Two a success. The bottomless vaults of Trojan are filled with some of the tastiest dub known to man, and cheesy tampering is out of the question. Laswell knows this and simply offers what could be considered a DJ set with a bit of tweaking. It's superb tweaking, and maybe just a little too humble for laptop kids and left-field lovers. For everyone else, Trojan Dub Massive: Chapter Two is a lazy delight with the mighty Trojan catalog in tasteful, contemporary dressing.

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