Welcome To My World
Wire – October 2010
Undriven by the usual requirements of ‘product’, Jah Wobble has managed a remarkable flow of material over the years he has run his own label. This, his most personal album to date, marks an escape from collaboration or concerns with other forms such as the Chinese and Japanese dub albums – though a Korean the med set will complete that Far East trilogy – allowing Wobble to truly follow his own path. He boldly unleashes his polymath tendencies with music veering from the Weather Report-style “Highgate” (paying tribute to Joe Zawinu) to the raging “M60” referencing the velocity of early UK drum ‘n’ bass, the warm haze of “Dusk” recalling an imagined Tunis, and the “Last Days” and its dub marking the dread invoked by the 2008 economic crash. “Late 19th” and “Early 20c” are a fitting conclusion, with audacious dub mixes of romantic and impressionist styles.
The Telegraph – 18th September 2010
From rhapsodic sequencer improvisations on Hampstead Heath to squawling synth evocations of Andalusia, DIY dub maverick Wobble takes some predictable and some unlikely turns on this sonic psycho-geography through his favourite places. If some tracks feel a touch dashed off, the erratic brilliance of a mind that can produce a Vaughan Williams – infused acid house tribute to the M25 wins the day.
Fly Global Music Centre
Bassist and expert genre interpreter Wobble has dropped the single nation explorations of his most recent CDs, Japanese Dub (as Jah Wobble & The Nippon Dub Ensemble) and Chinese Dub (as Jah Wobble & The Chinese Dub Orchestra) to produce an around the world in 21 tracks dash.
The first thing that strikes you about Welcome To My World is the cover. A fantastic condensed map of his world complete with map references for the each of the tracks on the CD. The opener ‘Asa’ is actually off map in a region that it indicates ‘The Past’ (but it sounds more like India). And on this map, you’ll find Stockport bigger than New Delhi, Route 66 linking Brazil, Greenland and Mongolia and the Northern Line going as far south as Tottenham Hale beneath La Concha mountain (very odd without taking into account Victoria line issues).
Back to the music, he says that this is his tribute to his musical like Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Mohamed Addel Wahab and Joe Zawinul as they go on world tour.
The whole Sketches of Spain section is fantastic. ‘Rhonda’ is big favourite at the moment (but ends far too quickly) and ‘Granada’ has a 60’s ambient feel with ‘Cadiz’ dubbing out overlooking the major shipping routes.
Talking on shipping, ‘Last Days Dub’ gets on the sea shanty boat and ‘Port Said’ skanks on the locks of the Suez Canal. And back to the geography of the Far East, ‘China’ is dubbier than Chinese Dub.
This is like a Plugged-In-World & Concrete Indo-jazz version of on Andy Votel’s Vintage Voltage with its own Johnny Trunk-ish interlude with Wobble moving on from doing the ‘Get Carter’ theme. He says ‘Blowout’ is a combination of a tribute to the film Blowup (the one with David Hemmings) and the equally famous (for train spotters) London To Brighton In Four Minutes; it’s 60s d’n’b on a high speed train but old carriages.
Back in the capital, ‘Putney’ is a bit trippy Joe Meek, ‘London’ is a mysterious dub-rock and ‘Highgate’ captures the dark side of a stroll in the park, the final resting place of Karl Marx and the local suicide beauty spot.
The CD ends a little awkwardly with ‘Outback’ (I-1 is Australia), a couple of Motorway treats as a tribute to 90’s Acid House raves (‘M25’ & ‘M60’) and a couple of ‘off map’ pieces via 19th and 20th century cinematic excursions.
I admit the longer tracks (‘New Delhi’ and ‘Port Said’) are initially the most pleasing but the album becomes surprisingly more coherent after a few listens and there’s probably a DJ mix in the style of a “journey” in there somewhere but for “a sturdily built middle aged man”, Wobble acts like a butterfly fluttering from one theme to another on a Michael Palin travelog in music – only Wobble could produce such a varied and fantastic album and it’s worth the price of the ticket.
Blues & Soul
The Wobbler returns with his new offering “Welcome To My World” and what a happier place that is. His last album however enjoyable was dense and heavy and not for the feint hearted! This new platter sees the master in much more merrier mood. Out goes the sombre (more or less) and in comes the more playful side.
‘Port Said’ with it’s explosive darbuka led beat, languid accordian and assortment of flutes and exotica, really hits you between the eyes bolstered by the meanest bass sound this side of christendom. A sonic world collage of highly imaginative spine tingling magic and that’s just the first tune!
Jah wobble’s highly focused sound is a testament of joy and I’m glad to see he’s kept this platter accessible and thoroughly entertaining to boot. You can see why he doesn’t want to get back with PIL. He’s got the whole wide world in his hands! He can leave the butter promoting Lydon to his own devices and get on with his incredible journey, once more into the ethnic unknown where he revels in it.
Jah doesn’t leave his Nippon dub so easily behind ‘Kokiriko Bushi’ sees his continued fascination with japanese music carrying on. A dub mantra but light and airy to boot. ‘Taiko Dub’ rams it home too, an oriental John Bonham like drum epic!
Inspired by invigorating walks by the Thames and parks of London this lovable character has had his batteries well and truly topped up. This is just as exciting as awaiting a new Ackroyd book. “You gotta walk and don’t look back” as Toshy said and if that’s the case Wobble is ideally your man, Jah will provide! A highly original and searching piece of work.
Uncut – November 2010
Dub Geezer invites you on his global jaunt
Fresh from his Chinese/Japanese dub excursions, Wobble now turns to the rest of the globe, applying the same inventive techniques to paint a musical pictures of some 20 locations that have “inspired” him, from Tunis to Putney and Brazil to Highgate. Along his wayward journey, he takes in a kaleidoscope of influences. “New Delhi” sounds like Ravi Shankar meets Terry Riley in dub an dit seems there’s nowhere safe from the inimitable Wobble postmodernist dubbing-down. There’s even a trip into acid-house dub inspired by a drive up the M60. Enduring maverick behaviour all round.
Rock-A-Roller.com – October 2010
The phrase ‘musical journey’ has been bandied around for so long that it has become devoid of meaning, but in Welcome To My World we finally have an album that truly deserves its application. A trip around the globe, from China to Brazil, Port Said to Putney, it’s another eclectic jaunt through Jah Wobble’s cluttered yet funky mind, a mishmash of Asian and South American styles indelibly fused with that bass. Despite Wobble’s protestations that dub is the one style able to complement all others, his approach is never simple,shifting from lackadaisical trip-hop to breakbeat with his trademark rumbling groove, achieving something special in the process. In its attempt to provide the listener with a taste of Jah’s world, it is an undeniable success, with each location having its own flavour and quirks, the music painting vivid depictions of souks, temples and Seven Sisters Road. Not content with sampling the styles of the world, Jah later tries his hand at melding renaissance styles with his own inimitable technique with predictably infectious results. Although on first listen it may be a daunting endeavour, given time it proves to be another example of just how well he understands what leis at the heart of all music.