CD Review: Dubblestandart, Marijuana Dreams


Marijuana Dreams coverDubblestandart: Marijuana Dreams [Collision Cause of Chapter 3, 2010]

The cover promo blurb said “feat. Anthony B., Elephant Man, Lee Scratch Perry, William S. Burroughs, David Lynch, a.o.!”, therefore I approached this latest Dubblestandart release with some foreboding. No, it’s not Elephant Man I fear, scary though he tries to be. It’s Scratch. Last time out with Dubblestandart, he was ridiculously and childishly profane, a tiresome caricature of his former self, thus a disappointment. Not that the others involved with that last one were inspired either.

But this new disc is quite good: interesting textures, endless groove and sufficient variety thanks mostly to the guest artists. On his four tracks Perry presents only his winsome side, which means his usual playfulness and trademark utterances – nothing you haven’t heard from him before, probably, but amusing enough. As for the other guests, it’s William Burroughs’ idiosyncratic spoken proclamations, sound appropriately distorted, that stand out.

On to Dubblestandart themselves. Their music (like its cousin, traditional reggae) is dance music, which by definition provides less sustenance to the brain than to the body. So the beat just keeps beating away, tempo often slow, with the other musical elements pretty much in subservience. And yet it would be dumb to deny the melodic appeal that surfaces now and then, or the occasional funkiness in the rhythms, or the experimentation apparent in the dubs. As for the lyrics, sorry, nothing’s worth quoting.

On balance, clearly Marijuana Dreams has more to offer than most of its dance trance prance techno disco blissco rivals. It’s probably strongest around the middle, starting with “They Became One” and continuing through the Burroughs’s track “Saints Go Marchin’ Through All The Popular Tunes” and “Chase The Devil (Sin City Mix).” Those and a few other tracks are sufficiently involving to rate your attention, whether or not you feel like dancing.



About Ted Boothroyd :

Ted has enjoyed music all his increasingly lengthy life. He has gone through various favorite artists along the way, from his mommy crooning lullabies at crib side to his dad singing folk songs on car trips to The Everly Brothers to Ian and Sylvia to The Dave Brubeck Quartet to The Lovin’ Spoonful to The Kinks to The Miracles to Ravi Shankar to Tchaikovsky to Pentangle to Miriam Makeba to The Red Army Chorus and Band to Captain Beefheart to Gilbert and Sullivan to The McGarrigle Sisters to The Clash to Louis Jordan to The Flying Bulger Klezmer Band to Manu Chao. He has trouble choosing favorites when it comes to reggae - that fixation has been too longstanding and too complete. Ted started writing about music late in 2002 with a book review in The Beat, continuing with book and album reviews until the magazine's untimely passing. His association with Jahworks.org dates back to 2003, and he has hosted a couple of radio shows featuring reggae and "world music". Ted also sculpts in plaster and wood. | View all posts by Ted Boothroyd

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Ted has enjoyed music all his increasingly lengthy life. He has gone through various favorite artists along the way, from his mommy crooning lullabies at crib side to his dad singing folk songs on car trips to The Everly Brothers to Ian and Sylvia to The Dave Brubeck Quartet to The Lovin’ Spoonful to The Kinks to The Miracles to Ravi Shankar to Tchaikovsky to Pentangle to Miriam Makeba to The Red Army Chorus and Band to Captain Beefheart to Gilbert and Sullivan to The McGarrigle Sisters to The Clash to Louis Jordan to The Flying Bulger Klezmer Band to Manu Chao. He has trouble choosing favorites when it comes to reggae - that fixation has been too longstanding and too complete.

Ted started writing about music late in 2002 with a book review in The Beat, continuing with book and album reviews until the magazine's untimely passing. His association with Jahworks.org dates back to 2003, and he has hosted a couple of radio shows featuring reggae and "world music". Ted also sculpts in plaster and wood.

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