Recordings

The material here is strong and includes "Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock)," "Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)" and the incomparable "Exodus." The latter pulses along much as it does on the original, but the remix introduces ethereal vocal effects and something that sounds like seagulls ascending into orbit. Laswell's careful to foreground Marley's material without cluttering it or overstepping his role as engineer to muck up the recording's integrity, even though he does transform the songs into ambient dub.

The compositions retain their overall structure, but shift in the details. For the most part, Laswell works in subtle technical ways. There's the haunting murk of "Burnin' and Lootin'" which segues into the bright, dry intro of "Is This Love," dragging the listener across a range of emotions and imaginary scenes; moving from muddy backstreets slick with oil and lighted with the fires of 50-gallon trash drums, into sunshine. Similarly, "Rebel Music" in the hands of Laswell seems inhabited by a ghost choir. The song is creepy, an aftertaste of something almost forgotten, suggesting a rebellion quelled only to reemerge from the ashes unexpectedly. Bob Marley might like that.

--Matt Golosinski

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