Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampiresby Scientist
After a stint learning the dub craft from innovator King Tubby in the late '70s, Scientist began mixing his own sessions, coming up with a more wide-ranging and effects-riddled sound than that of his mentor. One of a handful of choice Scientist albums on the Greensleeves label, Rids the World of the Curse of the Vampires (1981) not only ably displays the mix masters varied approach, but clocks in as one of his best outings. While Scientist heeds Tubby's minimalist call with "strictly drum and bass" cuts like "Night of the Living Dead" -- spotlighting tightly wound guitar and organ chords for body -- he also expands things with a sunny mix of horns and bubbly keyboards on "The Mummy's Shroud" (as hard as it is to imagine sunshine with a ghoulish title such as this). Even without horns, Scientist keeps things lively with plenty of reverb and echo-treated percussion, ghostly piano parts, video game sound effects, and other various wobbly interjections from the mixing board. Pointing to his originality, Scientist doesn't just apply a few tweaks here and there, but heavily reworks the basic tracks -- here laid down by the fine Roots Radics band and produced by Henry "Junjo" Lawes (Don Carlos, Frankie Paul) -- then deftly integrates his panoply of effects into the cut-up mix. And adding to the record's expert evocation of the Halloween spirit are some fiendishly voiced intros, the cover art's cartoon potpourri of horror film characters, and the dubious claim made in the liner notes that Scientist mixed it all at midnight on Friday the 13th (reach for the flashlights kids). Along with Keith Hundson's Pick a Dub and Lee Perry's Blackboard Jungle Dub, this excellent Scientist release is one of the essential dub albums available.
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