By appearing twice in this series Jah Wobble joins luminaries like Miles Davis and J.S. Bach. I’m not going to claim that he looms as large on the musical landscape; just that he writes and plays nice tunes featuring divinely great bass lines. And, well, I just can’t say no to that. Subcode is a slithery, icy-cool river of funk.
This is off Radioaxiom: A Dub Transmission which pairs Mr Wobble with Bill Laswell, famous American bassist/producer/impresario. Two basses are better than one! But it leads to a practical problem. If you want to hear this the way it’s meant to sound, your subwoofer has to emulate an Imperial Battle Cruiser exploding a medium-sized planet. But actually, what with Wobble and Laswell, it’s more like two IBC’s and a large planet. With two planets, you’d never get the awesome rhythmic precision that pervades Radioaxiom.
I love dub, and this has Dub in the title, but it’s not really, even though Sly Dunbar appears on drums; it’s sort of a universalized deep-groove mashup, with a smattering of the Mediterranean vocals Jah Wobble likes to use.
Back between 2011 and 2013, there was this immensely-fun online music service called Turntable.fm (link is to Wikipedia), where you gathered in rooms and took turns DJ-ing, trying to win votes from people in the room; “awesome” rather than “lame”. More votes got you a better avatar. Anyhow, I used to hang out there, and when it was my turn on stage I often tried to lead off with Subcode; it could fit in with a whole lot of different room themes. A common reaction was “…oooh, phat bass”.