Virgin Ambient 1995. AMBT 7
This is another installment of Virgin’s excellent Ambient series from the 1990s. Like Jazz Satellites, this was compiled by Kevin Martin, aka The Bug, Techno Animal amongst others. Martin is always worth listening to; always innovative, always interesting.
There’s not much on this album you’d call dub in a traditional sense. What it’s about is artists using dub ideas in other genres, in other words, the legacy of dub rather than dub itself. A project like this is of course spoilt for choice given the overwhelming influence dub has had in experimental music, so the success of this compilation lies in Martin’s skill as a curator. It spans electronica, hip-hop, jungle and even jazz, but what it all has in common is a spacey feel, thundering bass lines, and elements of the tracks, especially vocals swinging in and out of the mix.
Standouts are Tortoise, Bedouin Ascent, Coil and Spring Heel Jack, but what makes this a great compilation is how it hangs together.
It’s a double CD ripped as though it was a very long single because it plays better that way.