Any Colour You Like
December 14, 2005
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : -||Backing : 3||Production : 3||Sound quality : 3||Sleeve : 3|
"Not twice this day:|
Inch time foot gem
This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a priceless gem"
(Zen Master Takuan -- c/f "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones -- Wisdom Teachings.")
For those of you who enjoy the distant, indefinable, craggier edges of dub -- from Muslimgauze's "City Of Djinn" to Basic Channel's coolest, most austere sonic experiments, in which the rhythms are separated down to pulse like emanations and movements -- "Any Colour You Like" may have some resonance.
The world of dub has always had outsiders around its unresolved borders -- It's worth remembering that the earliest ONU Sound works featured artists like Steve Beresford, David Toop, Lol Coxhill, Kishi, members of PIL, The Pop Group, The Glaxo Babies and Rip Rig and Panic --
And there are many who consider the above members to have contributed to the most fertile and productive period of ONU's history, making up a time in which UK's innovations didn't only look to Jamaica for influence -- but rather, eschewed and vigorously rejected any sense of imitation and cliché.
So, in sympathy with that deeply unconventional pool of musicians that has always existed around the borders of dub, "Any Colour You Like" is a very reasonable debut and -- unless you hadn't already guessed -- it is by no means whatsoever rooted in conventional dub.
Instead it draws influence from Javanese Gamelan and from works like "Drumming", Steve Reich's near perfect example of subtle and profoundly intelligent cross rhythms.
Besides, there are tonal /compositional elements here from Terry Riley's "You're No Good" and from booming, shimmering bass dub ambient experiments such as Michael Brook's "Hybrid" and Jon Hassel's groundbreaking "Fourth World/Possible Music."
"Any Colour You Like" is a commendable introspective work which is sure to win those involved some friends amongst the found sound/ outer edges of the dub fraternity (It probably won't score many points with trad reggae fans however). Admittedly, it is a fairly low key work, and it has some considerable way to go before reaching close to those artists from which its draws its influences -- but it is a thought provoking, intelligent album -- and it is really refreshing to hear someone making music like this in our commercially driven music business environment in 2005.