Jah Wobble: Dark Luminosity – The 21st Century Collection (4CD Digipak Set)


Yes, yes, yes. It’s the bloke who co-founded Public Image and co-wrote their first two albums and then left to go off and wander in the wonders of world music, punk, dub, jazz, fusion, electronic, etcetera etcetera etceterarara… Working with such musical luminaries as Brian Eno, members of krautrock pioneers Can, Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Sinead Connor, Massive Attack, Andrew Weatherall, Mark Stewart – the list goes on – ‘twas, and ‘tis still, eclectic. Cherry Red Records bring unto us mortals a 4-CD set that focuses on his 21st century output – hence the title. Clever, huh?

Sequenced chronologically, the collection gives the listener an insight into the many musical paths that Wobble has long been unafraid to wander. It’s one thing to be a listener when meandering through a resplendent garden such as music and simply consuming one after another the plentiful delights on offer. But it’s a whole other thing completely to roam amongst the sounds, the swishes, the hums, the reverberations and resonances that proffer themselves to the senses, that tickle and tease and titillate them, and toy with them as they desire and mould them into golden shapes that were hitherto unheard. Wobble is an experimenter, an investigator, and innovator who savours the joys that playing and playing with music brings.

Putting together something like this, a collection drawing from 20 years of music from 15 collaborative groupings (check the track listing below for a list of performers), you’d think that the finished product would be uneven, as if cramming so much material together would result in a disjointed experience, like switching radio stations at the end of each song. But this doesn’t sound like that at all. At all. Curiously – and pleasingly – this sounds like an album, a totality, a self-contained work with its own arc.

4 CDs of music might seem like a lot. And it is. And there’s a lot going on in the 60+ tracks here. Spoken word, folk, muzak, ambient, and all of that stuff listed above and more. But the deal is this: put one, two, three or all four the CDs on and just listen. There’s ambition in the experimentation, and satisfaction and stimulation in the artistic creativity that pours from every pore of this marvellous collection.

Buy it from Cherry Red here. Play it. Savour it, again and again…

Words by Jason Guest

Disc One:
1 There Was A Young Man With A Bass (Spoken Word)
2 As Night Falls: Part 1 **
3 As Night Falls: Part 2 **
4 Lam Tang Way *
5 Lam Tang Way (Female Vocal) *
6 Full On ***
7 Shout At The Devil ****
8 La Citadelle ****
9 Fly 3
10 Fly 9
11 Calm Within The Storm
12 Fight Scene
13 Jeck, Drums, 2 Basses **
14 Singing **
15 Cannily Cannily *
16 Plato (Spoken Word)

Disc Two:
1 Post Modern (Spoken Word)
2 Unquiet Grave *
3 Elevator Music 4
4 Elevator Music 9
5 Mu
6 Softwear
7 Four (Edit) *****
8 I Know You’re Here
9 I Want
10 Looking Up At The Sky Again
11 No No No ******
12 And There Was The Sea ******
13 And Some May Say
14 Whatever Happens
15 Solitude ^
16 Car Ad Music 8
17 Kokiriko ^^
18 Ma ^^
19 Cadiz
20 Brazil
21 Dub (Spoken Word)

Disc Three:
1 Air (Spoken Word)
2 Blowout
3 City Meets Country ^^^
4 Psychic Life ^^^^
5 Wealth ^^^^^
6 Terminus ^^^^^
7 Spanish Place ^^^^^^
8 Cosmic Blueprint *
9 Mandala *
10 Sabri = Patience +
11 Sudani Manayo +
12 Chunk Of Funk
13 Cuban Dub
14 L’autoroute Sans Fin

Disc Four:
1 Sacred (Spoken Word)
2 Mind In Turmoil
3 Humans Are Full Of It
4 The Perfect Beat ++
5 Dark Luminosity ++
6 Fly Away *
7 Take My Hand *
8 Nocturne
9 Mooching About
10 Lockdown 7 (Reprise)
11 End Of Lockdown Dub
12 Choral Ocean Dub
13 Dim Sum (Edit) +++
14 Guangzhou Funk
15 Tyson Dub

* Jah Wobble & The Invaders Of The Heart
** Jah Wobble & Deep Space
*** Jah Wobble & Evan Parker
**** Jah Wobble & Temple Of Sound
***** Jah Wobble, Jaki Liebezeit, Philip Jeck
****** Jah Wobble And The English Roots Band
^ Jah Wobble & The Chinese Dub Orchestra
^^ Jah Wobble & The Nippon Dub Ensemble
^^^ Jah Wobble & The Modern Jazz Ensemble
^^^^ Jah Wobble And Julie Campbell
^^^^^ Jah Wobble + Marconi Union
^^^^^^ Jah Wobble & Bill Sharpe
+ Jah Wobble & Momo
++ Jah Wobble & Bill Laswell With The Invaders Of The Heart
+++ Jah Wobble & Family