1/ Dystopia (Laswell,Wobble) 9.43 2/ Simulacra (Laswell) 8.57 3/ Space-Time Paradox (Laswell,Wobble) 6.18 4/ Babylon Site (Laswell,Wobble) 8.43 5/ Night City (Laswell) 8.55 6/ System Malfunction (Laswell,Wobble) 8.39 Created at Orange Music, Orange, New Jersey Engineered by Robert Musso Assistant: James Dellatacoma Produced by Bill Laswell Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone, New York Second: Alex Theoret Art and Design: John Brown @ Cloud ChamberBill Laswell: bass, guitar; Jah Wobble: bass; Bernie Worrell: keyboards; Abdou Mboup: percussion; Karsh Kale: drums, tabla; Chris Cooksom: additional beat construction.
2004 - ROIR (USA), ROIR 8288 (CD) 2005 - ROIR (USA), RUSLP 8288 (Vinyl)
The album does have a very dub chapter 1 feel due to it being an actually all out dub album, the first track is the only eastern esk feel from the whole album and its just light tablas and an ocassional bell sound but its all cut throught dub. All new reworkings. It has a lot of the old school electric piano stuff from bernie, he sticks to some of the standard reggae/dub signiture piano hits but no real soloing from bernie, laswell does an excellent guitar solo on track 2 and 3. Its not that its any better than the other laswell releases but its a bit more from the past but respecting the future and taking advantage of it. I love the jazz/afro feel and eastern reworkings he puts in his music i love the variety but this is more of the original stric 9 dub with all of its delay glories. And i know theirs a lot of dub fans out their that have been waiting for this batch, and lots who dont like vocals in their dub. Im not much of a fan unless they are really good which laswell always does but its cool without. But i find it imposible not to enjoy this newest laswell release. The most cronic beats in sound.
5 stars out of 5
yajdubuddah (courtesy of the Gamestation World website)
Bill Laswell has waxed quite a number of dub discs, becoming something of a leader in yet another field of music. Many of Laswell’s “dub transmissions” are, like this one, collaborations with bassist and multi-instrumentalist Jah Wobble, the best of which is probably the jazz-inflected Radioaxiom: A Dub Transmission (Axiom/2001). But none of Laswell’s dub discs that I know of included Bernie Worrell until this 2004 disc, Version 2 Version. Here, Bill Laswell teams with Jah Wobble (who co-wrote four of the album’s six tracks with Laswell), keyboardist Bernie Worrell, tabla player Karsh Kale and percussionist Abdou Mboup (who also appeared on the 1999 Laswell-produced Save Our Children by Pharoah Sanders), to structure yet another one of his neo-dub experiments; a meeting of classic reggae rhythms with a club-like edge of drum n bass modernism. Kale’s participation lends the disc a slight air of Indian fusion but it’s difficult to tell who is doing what here and how much any one of the five musicians listed on the CD’s sleeve actually contributes. The bass is perhaps the most dominant instrument here (no surprise, given the presence of two bassists) and the percussive edge helps drive things along nicely, even though it’s hard to determine who is laying down the beat(s). Bernie Worrell’s contribution to Version 2 Version is so slight as to be insignificant. A solo organ introduces the opening track, “Dystopia” and a reggae-esque block-chord piano sets the tone for “Night City,” although none of this lasts long enough to even determine whether it’s Bernie Worrell playing. Occasionally synthesized effects are edited in and out like Teo Macero would have done on Miles’s constructed pieces of the early seventies. But again it’s hard to determine whether Bernie Worrell had anything to do with these brief snippets of effect. “Space-Time Paradox” even hints at “Maggot Brain,” but it’s hard to say who is playing the fine guitar to be heard here and whether Bernie Worrell, P-Funk’s musical architect, had anything to do with this piece at all. This is not to say that Version 2 Version is without interest. Laswell has effectively constructed a dub-oriented “soundscape” here, where the music is not so much about the musicians who participate as it is about creating an organic experience out of musical effects. If it succeeds, it’s due to Laswell’s gift for such musical constructions or deconstructions. On the other hand, if it fails, it’s because the personality of the participants seems eradicated to achieve the end result.
Doug Payne (courtesy of the Sound Insights website)
Focus and cocentration are absolutely essential to this album. Without those two features, all of these songs would've probably turned out like the ones on Aftermathematics Instrumental. The ingredients on this record are simple, though: heavy and waving bass melodies, steady percussion, and a just hint of the sexual. An overwhelming sense of dark, seductive power hovers over Version 2 Version the instant the bass drops on "Dystopia" and it only intensifies until "Night City" and "System Malfunction" close the record up. The music is fairly inconspicuous so far as dub is concerned, but the atmoshpherics that Laswell and company manage to pull out of their instruments are astounding. "Babylon Site" not only struts along as though it were untouchable and utterly of another world, it also rings and pulses with the soul of ease and promiscuity. The sexual references can't be helped; I half expect that this album was recorded in a dark and damp basement to the images of lusty encounter. Hi-hats chirp and stutter with the silk playing of electric guitars and classic dub sounds. There's enough reverb and echo on most of these songs to send any sober listener into a realm of cosmic light shows and slow motion existence. The gritty sounds that are coaxed out of the instruments and the almost too pure stream of sound effects make an otherwise typical dub record sound exceptional. There's nothing but pure, throbbing tones on this record with occaisional use of a bouncing keyboard or a guitar moaning itself to death. The sparse use of tabla rhythms and vocal effects help keep the mood of the record unpredictable. When "Night City" and its spazzed out rhythm section blew up at the end of "Babylon Site," I was thoroughly surprised. I'm not talking about a huge jump stylistically, but Laswell tweaked the mood just enough to keep me listening through the record. The sci-fi closer is a gem of groove production. "System Malfunction" rolls along like a steam train powered by the heart and soul of reggae and hot summer nights. Instead of trying to do a thousand things at once and make every song significantly different from one another, Laswell has kept things tight and uniform. The result is an album a hundred times better than the last one I listened to from him.
courtesy of the Brainwashed website