AUGUSTUS PABLO Dub, Reggae & Roots From The Melodica King (Ocho)
No sooner had Augustus Pablo's "King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown" established itself as my favourite housework background music after years gathering dust on my cassette shelves (try doing the ironing to it - fantastically therapeutic!) than the psychic folk at Diverse popped a copy of this in the post for me. "Dub, Reggae & Roots From The Melodica King" contains 21 vignettes from Pablo's haunted, minor key, dubbed-up world. The music on here is all snaking basslines, wheezing melodica and distant echoes that sound like they've bounced off the satellites all the way back from Jamaica. Of crucial importance is the fact that the compilers have cleverly included some of the songs in their original forms, by artists such as Jacob Miller, Bongo Pat, Norris Reid and Tetrack, so that you can compare the before and after-effects of Pablo's treatment, and naturally a rich slew of tunes are culled from arguably his finest work, the aforementioned "King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown". Ian McCann pens some authoritative sleeve notes, and the musicians involved include names so famous that even a reggae neophyte such as myself can recognise them, for example Robbie Shakespeare, Aston 'Family Man' Barrett, Carlton "Carlie' Barrett and Earl 'Chinna' Smith. But the star of the show is, naturally, the late, great Augustus Pablo and the twisted, mysterious sonic universe that is his legacy.