Adelaide/ Tarntanya’s Isle Of Jura have released the final installment in their trilogy of terrific Transmission compilations. This one bearing a strong dub focus. From Full Moon Scientist’s prog-house meets King Tubby stylings, full of spring reverb lightening and bottom-end thunder – the echoed percussion, including Weatherall’s timbales, like driving through a torrential storm with something by Keith Hudson booming loud on the stereo – to Robert Minnott’s Taxi Gang-esque sax-led steady skanking. Stopping off for a ride with the Rude Band along the way.
Jean Michel Bertrand`s much-loved Dream Reggae gets an essential extended edit, with Mike Burn adding some excellent electric guitar to the waves of wah-wah and tropical popping syndrum surf. Transforming what was a cool sort of sketch into an outright epic. Even when the album does disco, it’s dubby. Inspiration supplying a stripped back take on Sylvester’s comic classic, I Need Somebody To Love Tonight, while Optimus’ bongos, congas, piano, and reeds, are all washed with delay, treated and trapped, spinning in and out of orbit and phase.
For a minute though everything flashes back to 1990. Mamukata floating programmed pan-pipes over a familiar breakbeat. Mary House’s post-Soul II Soul pop strutting its sexy, seductive stuff like a lost Swemix side.
The concluding “FX Tools”, the first an Orb-like collage of ducks, geese, assorted waterfowl, table-tennis matches, passing trains, and “Baa”-ing sheep, the second a snippet of documentary dialogue, give clues to origins of the label’s moniker, and for me, are alone worth the price of admission. The standout, however, is Irresistible Force aka Mixmaster Morris’ Lotus Position. Throwing a curveball with jazzy keyboard chords and cymbals crashes, like a fusion opus about to start, this eternal anticipation instead forms the backbone around which playful electronics fly and flicker. Their twisting, turning, tumbling, getting quicker and quicker. Creating an excitement, euphoria, that climbs higher and higher, cascades, crescendos, like coloured kite tails dancing against a clear blue sky.
Transmission Three is out now on Isle Of Jura.