Stranger On The Sofa
Barry Adamson
Central Control International
June 11, 2006

Track list
  1. Here In The Hole
  2. The Long Way Back Again
  3. Officer Bentley´s Fairly Serious Dilemma
  4. Who Killed Big Bird?
  5. Theresa Green
  6. The Sorrow And The Pity
  7. My Friend The Fly
  8. Inside Of Your Head
  9. You Sold Your Dreams
  10. Deja Morte
  11. Dissemble
  12. Free Love
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4
Surprised to see ex Magazine/Howard Devoto bassist, Barry Adamson, in reggae-vibes.com?

Adamson certainly qualifies on at least two counts -- Barry Adamson teamed up with Angelo Badalmenti and David Lynch to write some powerful and emotive dub/jazz fusions for the soundtrack on "Lost Highway." If you haven't heard the chilly dub of "Hollywood Sunset" and the Charlie Mingus meets Tubby's style of "Eddy's Theme" -- you are certainly missing out.

Soundtrack seems the perfect area to experiment with dub -- but besides Barry Adamson's contributions, Badalmenti's work and African Head Charge/Prince Far I's contribution to David Lynch's "Wild At Heart", no one seems to be trying it out and testing the scope and limits.

On the second count, this album showcases Barry Adamson's team up with Nick Plytas, early ONU sound keyboard experimenter, who featured on "War Of Words" with Bim Sherman, "Tunes From The Missing Channel" with Dub Syndicate, "Foundation Steppers" with New Age Steppers, African Head Charge's "Environmental Studies" as well as featuring on Skip McDonald's dub blues ventures.

"Stranger On The Sofa" tests out the water some more, and comes up for air with some hammering Charlie Mingus/Pharaoh Sanders meets hard dub vibes, which, in places, works beautifully and atmospherically.

It doesn't all work -- some of the album is annoyingly unfocussed, too mainstream rock influenced in places, and some of the vocals are derivative and indistinctive, distracting from Adamson's true talent and instinct for the dramatic.

But when the formula is right -- the results soar with inspiration, offering interesting possibilities for jazz, dub and soundtrack.

"Free Love" is the standout track here, opening with spacious strings and breaking down into a drum and bass jam before dropping into a HUGE dub bass line overlaid with searing high tones. The whole thing sounds like it was recorded underwater. Subterranean.

There are definite echoes of Doug Wimbish and Skip McDonald here. "My Friend The Fly" is pure Badalmenti surreality, with a thunderous bass vibration edging its tension onwards before it breaks into Mingus territory.

Also notable is "Here In The Hole" with its edgy tension, and neurotic, misanthropic voice samples -- Think distinct similarity to Keith Le Blanc's "Major Malfunction" and Bomb the Bass's work with the ex Sugarhill Gang and Bim Sherman on "Clear."

File next to early ONU Sound, Teledubgnosis, Le Blanc, Skip McDonald, Doug Wimbish, Badalmenti, David Lynch and Ornette Coleman.