New Galaxy of Dub ~ Sci Fi Part Two
Mad Professor Meets Mafia & Fluxy
Ariwa Sounds
October 27, 2005

Track list
  1. Alien Invasion
  2. Dub The Clairvoyant
  3. Stone From Nakhia
  4. Message From A Meteorite
  5. Robotik Space Traveller
  6. Spaceman From Baghdad
  7. Maniac From Mars
  8. Power Of Shiva
  9. Universal Dub
  10. Rock Of Hematite
  11. Earth Trek
  12. One From Gabe!
  13. Spirit On The Milky Way
  14. Genetic Academic
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : -
Mad Professor has produced his fair share of cerebral works over the last ten years with Mafia and Fluxy. If you are into Gussie P, this new album sounds similar to the excellent (and long deleted) "Conqueroaring (sic) Lion" set. In places, it is also similar to the subtlety of Style Scott's/Lion and Roots/Dub Syndicate's "Acres Of Space" album.

Then there is Mad Professor's historical status and contribution to the genre -- Everyone who has experienced Shaka has been transformed by the experience -- What is not often mentioned however, is Mad Prof's contribution to Shaka's ascendance and transcendence -- the majority of Shaka's much sought after 12's and albums recorded between 1981 to 1984, were engineered by the Professor. And that includes the ground breaking "Commandments Of Dub Volume 1".

Then there was the trip hop genre, some might say a musical form largely contrived, much hyped and cynically driven by record execs, marketing departments and sales figures. Besides the odd inspired selection of tunes such as Tricky's storming Public Enemy cover versions, who really remembers trip hop now? Arguably, not many. Which records from the genre are still regularly played and recommended? Again, very few -- Except that is, for the abstract atmospherics of Mad Professor's deconstruction of Massive Attack. To many, the Mad Prof version of "Spying Glass" surpasses Bullwackie's cut -- and that is quite an achievement.

Back to this album now -- "Alien Invasion" features sublime vocal chants, splintered, introspective and cold piano works -- "Stone From Nakhia" dissolves linear beats and time concepts as the Professor draws you into his imaginative landscape. "Dub The Clairvoyant" is pure dub impressionism.

So this is a worthy venture -- restrained, subtle and dreamlike. A possible reservation and objection in places however, is Dave Fluxy's occasional over use of a digi bass drum, which tends to obscure the subtlety and intelligence at the heart of Mad Prof's rhythms -- Rather than deepen the soundscape, the bass drum seems to put limits on it, drawing up parameters around the freefall of Mad Prof's imagination. Mad Prof's insightful light touch at the controls surely doesn't require this.

But perhaps that's simply a subjective opinion -- digi stepper's use of bass drum still (inexplicably?) seems to consistently draw new audiences and listeners to reggae -- so perhaps Fluxy is simply giving the people what they want?

But ultimately -- Come on, how could you possibly resist an album with titles like "Maniac From Mars", "Spaceman From Baghdad" and "Genetic Academic"?!

Mad Professor is proving to be consistently reliable these days, and the depth of his drum and bass textures and audacious sound treatments can still inspire. For the last 25 years, Mad Prof has translated his dream states into a musical syntax. At his best, his explorations still manage to capture the imagination, and his innate empathy with the considerable talents of Mafia and Fluxy is only too obvious.