1/  Waxing Moon                                (JW,Bell,Shrivastav,Rasle)    4.59
  2/  Just A Prayer                              (Wobble)                      5.13
  3/  Disks Winds and Veiling Curtains           (Wobble,Laswell)              10.11
  4/  Requiem III                                (Wobble)                      6.53
  5/  One In 7                                   (Wobble)                      6.11
  6/  The Five Tone Dragon                       (Wobble)                      7.31
  7/  Third Heaven                               (Wobble)                      2.47

          Recorded and mixed at 30 Hertz Studios, London
          Track 3 recorded and mixed at Orange Studios, West Orange, New Jersey
          Engineered and mixed by Mark Ferda
          Track 1 engineered by Cai Murphy
          Track 2 engineered by Jah Wobble and Finn Steele
          Track 3 engineered by Robert Musso
          Track 5 engineered by Hugo Scholten
          Track 5 additional engineering by Mark Ferda
          Track 2 mixed by Jah Wobble and Finn Steele
          Track 3 mixed by Bill Laswell
          Track 5 mixed by Jah Wobble
          Produced by Jah Wobble
          Track 3 produced by Bill Laswell
          Compiled by Janet Rienstra for Meta Records
          Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone Studio, NYC
Jah Wobble: bass (1,2,3,6,7), drums (2,6), keyboards (2,7), orchestration (4,6,7), percussion (6), everything except drums (5); Jaki Liebezeit (1,5): drums; Balugi Shrivastav (1,7): sitar, tablas; Jean-Pierre Rasle: recorder (1,6), bagpipes (6), crumhorn (6); Clive Bell: tampura (1), shakuhachi (1,6), flute (6), piccolo (6), khene (6), Thai flute (6); Natascha Atlas (2): voice; Abdel Ali Slimani (2): voice; Justin Adams (2): guitar; Bill Laswell (3): fretless bass, loops, atmospheres, treatments; Sussan Deyhim (4): voice; Zi Lan Liao (6,7): ku-cheng, harp; Mark Ferda: orchestration (6), piano (6), keyboards (7); Harry Beckett (6,7): trumpet; Joji Hirota: percussion (6,7), shakuhachi (7); Trevor Rennie (7): voice; Amila Sulejmanovic (7): voice.

          1999 - Meta Records (USA), MT006 (CD)


Not another Wobble CD you say. People complain that the likes of Wobble and Laswell make too many records. Which to my mind is bollox. Either a record is good, or it's not. Whether the person puts out a record every year or five records a year shouldn't make any difference.

This is a sample of the recordings Wobble has put out over the last three years on his 30 Hertz Records label. They've picked one tune from each of the seven full-length 30 Hertz CDs in no obvious order. (I'm not sure where the name 30 Hertz comes from, but it's near the lower frequency limit of human hearing.)

But in any case, this collection isn't on 30 Hertz. It's on Meta which is a Bill Laswell-related label in the New York area that seems to specialize in yoga influenced music. Hence the 'trancelike journey through other worlds' sticker on the front of the CD. (Personally, I prefer to just be told what the music is, and decide for myself if it's 'trancelike'.) But anyone buying this and hoping for background music should keep the receipt. Because it's robust and engaging and hard to ignore. More 'Bitches Brew' than 'Birth of the Cool' in Miles Davis talk.

I suppose they put out this compilation so listeners can get an idea of what Wobble and his cohorts have been up to, and hopefully pick up the source CDs. It's also useful for punters in the US who have had trouble finding most 30 Hertz CDs. Up till recently, only The Celtic Poets and Umbra Sumus were easily available at reasonable prices over here.

If you haven't kept up with Wobble, then it's a great place to start, especially if you're not sure whether his classical music will appeal to you.

The selection itself gives a good idea of the many formats Wobble has been working in or on. From the improvised trance dub jams with Indian, Celtic and North African elements and wordless vocals, to ambient, to devotional music, to classical Chinese music, to jazz and funk, and beyond. Though it's quite a range, I'd say none of it sounds forced. The tunes are strong and have a lot of personality, and you can hear the commitment of the musicians. No session men here!

There's nothing new on it. The pieces are the same as on the original CDs, except for the Five Tone Dragon which they only give you the first 7 minutes or so of. I know a lot of us were hoping for a few different mixes. If you have the 7 original CDs there's not much reason to buy it.

The Meta people don't have the same quality control as 30 Hertz. They incorrectly spell a lot of the musicians names wrong' and list Wobble's website wrong, which is annoying. Too much yoga is not good for you.

Patrick MacArdle