There's no denying the importance of the Slits, especially their 1979 album Cut
. The group's dizzy blend of dub rhythms, post-punk artiness, punk attitude and unpracticed enthusiasm was thrilling and unique, both when it first came out and 30 years later as well. On top of the glorious clatter and bounce of the music were Ari Up's vocals. Yes, they may have wandered, they may have grated at times, but her style was perfect for the band and perfect for the times. After Cut
, both the band and Up went through all kinds of changes (documented here
and here, that led to some interesting music at times -- espcially her work with the Adrian Sherwood-produced, avant-garde reggae group the New Age Steppers
. Up's death this week at the tragically young age of 48 gives us pause, and spurs us to remember just how influential, and fun, the Slits were at their peak.
The Slits - "Typical Girls"
The Slits - "Instant Hit"
The New Age Steppers - "Fade Away'