I’m not quite ready to write a review on this album, but my impressions so far are not quite as positive as I had hoped.
A lot of tracks hold the truly psychedelic feel from the original, including a few of the newbies. In fact, the album as a whole is absolutely a stunner, but drawing the comparison between the original and this is inevitable, and this is what I am most disappointed by.
All tracks hold a strength in the sense that the back drop for 5 of the 9 tracks is from one of the most spectacular psychedelic dub masterpieces of all time. That being said, the bass guitar that replaces a lot of the original bass from those tracks is, in my honest opinion, an epic failure.
The first track, a new take on LSD, is absolutely the best example. The complex and driving bass rhythms which really held the entire song together have been replaced by a very, VERY simple bass rhythm which lacks imagination and complexity. The problem I have throughout this entire album is that the same kind of simple bass rhythms dominate at least a third of the (albeit very short) album, and I can’t help but be distracted by them whenever they are around.
Solstice is another great example of this… the first three minutes of the song, originally entitled the Warwick Bassmonkey Remix, are (again, in my opinion), ruined by a simplistic take on a bass line which was very intricate and (originally) created the build to an epic piece of music. The song is only redeemed when Ott throws in the bass line from the original tune at the climax in order to drown out the weak sounds of the bass player.
I am very sorry to Youth for being so critical, but quite honestly this live performance could have been truly spectacular with a bassist willing to more closely replicate the intricacy of Ott’s original work, and build upon those with live improvisation.
In every other manner, this album is really awesome. And the new tracks, which were more designed to fit with simple bass lines are good, but not the psychedelic ride that was created by the original Hallucinogen in Dub, and seem tailored to fit a live crowd rather than for at home listening.
While I consider this album a success, it is not a worthy predecessor to the original, as the ways that it differs offer not more complexity, but a sense of simplicity which leaves me feeling like something is lacking, particularly having seen the bar raised so high by not only Twisted records but many other musicians in the psychedelic music scene up to this day.
In short, the album is fucking outstanding, but it sounds like there is an amateur out there practicing the bass guitar while everyone else is doing their best to create a fucking amazing audial experience. I appreciate all the mastering that was done which delayed this album, in order to make it sound as great as possible. The problem is it simply needs to be re-recorded with a bassist who has style, enthusiasm and skill that competes with the likes of Jimi Hendrix.
That’s my two cents…
*edit* as I keep listening.. the bassist seriously makes this music feel like a Grateful Dead concert… in a bad way… same shit, over, and over, and over… Again, everything else is spot on…