Agony Shorthand

Thursday, June 23, 2005

More from Lloyd Barnes and his late 70s/early 80s Bronx, NY stable of sound magicians called WACKIES. Both LPs/CDs have also been peddled under the moniker BULLWACKIE’S ALL-STARS as well – same crew. “Nature’s Dub” is for the purists, those who like stretched-out, 7-minute+ dub experimentations that breathe deeply and slowly fry the channels of your personal inner sound system. Like me. When you get locked into one of these after about five minutes, it’s actually pretty liberating – you can let go of pretty much everything & take in this giant toke of massiveness. This one’s easily as good as the AFRICAN ROOTS series, and those are essential, right? At least that’s what I’ve learned over the past few months – I’m still a student of this stuff; not yet a wisened teacher. That said, I’ve finally found a WACKIES dub release I don’t like one bit. “Jamaica Super Dub Session” looked promising but fails due to very “light” source material – mellow reggae for that horrid authentic island breeze vibe, including a rendition of a Lionel Richie song (!) – and an abundance of goofy synthesizers that detract from the sparse, cavernous feel of the best dub. Could it have been toyed with in modern – 21st Century – times? Perhaps. I was taken in as always by the 1978 British DIY punk packaging and Wackies’ exemplary track record, but as we know, every label and every artist has a few duds lying around in the turdpile, and this one is theirs.