Words by Jesse Serwer
It’s been a while since a compilation has caught our attention but leave it up to the folks at Soul Jazz Records to do it. The offshoot of London’s Sounds of the Universe record shop was behind some of the best Jamaican music compilations of the last decade or so, from their broader-than-Broadway Dynamite series to more specialized releases like Studio One Women and Hustle! Reggae Disco. Throughout, they’ve always taken efforts to connect the dots, whether that means throwing a newer dancehall version onto a comp made primarily of classic foundation cuts, or using a whole disc to illustrate how jungle developed from dancehall. For the double-disc set Invasion Of The Mysteron Killer Sounds in 3-D, producer Kevin Martin (AKA The Bug) and Soul Jazz founder Stuart Baker collected dub versions of digital rhythms (3-D in this case means “Dancehall Digital Dub”) from King Jammy and Sly Dunbar to Steely & Clevie (whose Streetwseeper riddim starts off the set) and Dave Kelly, as well as newer fare in that vein from Diplo, Roots Manuva and more. Our dude Max Glazer even gets some love with a dub version of his recent Flatlands riddim.
Inspired by the sci-fi imagery of Scientist and the like, the set also includes a graphic novel by Italian comic book designer Paolo Parisi, which realizes a “science-fiction vision of the future of digital music, featuring King Tubby, Steely and Clevie, Jammy, Jazzbo, complete with Alien Sound Lord Abductors, Aural Freedom Fighters and Digi-Dub Voyagers.” All of which proves once again that when it comes to the reggae/dancehall continuum, a voyage to the future always means a trip back to the past.