dimanche, août 22, 2004

Jah Wobble

Jah Wobble, I Could Have Been A Contender

Adam Sweeting, The Guardian

In between employment as a conductor for London Underground and doing voluntary church work, Jah Wobble has spent 25 years probing music's outer limits. Wobble credits John Lydon with starting it all off by recruiting him to play bass with Public Image Ltd.

With Wobble's help, Lydon built PiL into a thunderous sonic laboratory, able to encompass dub, electronic music and avant-garde gibberings. Their stunning debut, Public Image, is the opening track on the first of these three discs, with Wobble's earthquake bass charging to the front of the mix, though Wobble reckons his favourite PiL track was the autistic funk of Poptones, remastered and included here.

It can be tricky keeping track of his progress since the tracks leap around chronologically without much apparent logic, but his most remarkable trait is the way he can pull together stuff from any time or any continent. Visions Of You, from 1991's Rising Above Bedlam album, pits an echoey, vapourous Sinéad O'Connor against tablas and the raga-saga of Wobble's bass. Snake Charmer, a collaboration with Holger Czukay, of legendary German experimentalists Can, was jittery funk-techno, stepping hard on the heels of Herbie Hancock. The slowly evolving layers of Requiem III (1997) display some familiar with composers like Part or Tavener, while who else could convert east London's grimy A13 into a spiritual pathway?