The Lago Years: Psychedelic Rock. Improvised jams. Jazz like something from Manchester`s Berlin, or Rafters. Kalima. The Swamp Children. Running the Voodoo down with Miles` Dark Magus. Love songs and magnificent dances, that segue into version. Bass a vacuum. Sucking everything backwards. Dub space filled with Sun Ra`s Strange Strings, skittering drum machines and asteroid fragments. Middle Eastern singers, singing via shortwave radio. Wobble doing his best Ian Curtis. Ex-model Poly Etes doing her best Pop. Congas, tambourines and tropical keys. Sound effects and sirens. Rolling piano. Guitar in searing circular riffs, and Flamenco touches. Annie Whitehead`s trombone caught in thunderclaps of delay.
With record deals still standing with Virgin (via an acrimonious split with Public Image Limited) and Island, Jah Wobble set up his own Lago imprint. Still a “handful”. Taking its name from the lawless town in Clint Eastwood`s High Plains Drifter. The label was an outlet for Wobble`s early incarnations of The Invaders Of The Heart. A group inspired by the Cairo descendants of the Roma from Rajasthan. A rotating assembling that featured – amongst others – Animal on guitar, Neville Murray on congas, Ollie Marland on keys, and Annie Whitehead on trombone. Wobble took responsibility for everything. Recording sessions at Gooseberry Studios, on Gerrard Street in London`s Chinatown. Working again with Mark Lusardi, who`d helped produce much of what formed the rhythms for PiL`s Metal Box. The bass-playing legend cut masters between pints at Porky`s Prime Cuts, got a 1000 or so copies pressed in Portobello, and then distributed them in his van. Sold them at shows. Lago ran from 1981-1985. Then, out of cash and with a family to support, Wobble signed up as a driver with London Underground. Something that`s hard to fathom given the big man`s `90s renaissance, and his lasting musical influence.
As well as having his Lago Years reissued by Emotional Rescue, Jah Wobble also has a new album out in June with The Invaders Of The Heart, called The Usual Suspects, via 3Ms Music.
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