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Adrian Sherwood

Becoming a Cliché/Dub Cliché | Real World
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  May 6, 2008
Are you “dub-curious”? Seduced by the hypnotic rhythms of Jamaica’s third-most-popular musical export (after reggae and ska), yet intimidated by this sprawling world of perplexing discographies (“I’m looking for King Tubby Meets Some Other Guy at Some Place. Can you help me?”) that’s impossible to navigate for anyone but truly committed dubnerds? Have no fear: Real World’s reissue of producer Adrian Sherwood’s second solo album from 2006 is a fantastic choice for dubdorks and dubnewbs alike. The playful collaborations in Becoming a Cliché display Sherwood’s legendary inventiveness and wit. The title is bittersweet — he’s far less commercially successful than those who watered down his sound for young professionals. (Hi Moby!) But the clincher is a second disc of amazing dubs, a steady sampler of the state of Sherwood’s art after 30 years of evolution. This is intelligent, progressive music, rooted in the classics but also in the phenomenon of dub as a global genre. (Asian percussion and monastic chants drop in and out of the mixes; one of the tracks was remixed in Warsaw.) And the dub “clichés” (those flying cymbals!) are repurposed and reinvented, as in Stepping Crowd/Sans Toupee, where a spaghetti-western soundtrack on Robitussin slowly evolves into a jazz-flute freakout and the simplest breakbeat before heading toward space.
  Topics: CD Reviews , King Tubby , Moby (Musician)
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