Boomkat Product Review:
Optimo follow Dennis Bovell’s outstanding dubs of Golden Teacher with a 12” compilation/reissue of Bovell zingers that was actually cued up before that release, but is only now seeing the disco lights after some niggling label delays.
All four cuts survey Bovell’s earliest phase surrounding the Brain Damage album, twisting its reggae disco diamond Heaven and a newly edited instrumental mix on the A-side, backed with a wild, little-known heater in Garland Jeffreys’ Escape Goat Dub, and the languid Smouche also taken off his solo debut LP.
The percolated disco hi-hats, loping disco bass and infectious vocal of Heaven epitomises Bovell’s fusioneering style of that era, cooking up a properly syncretic gem that will still set ‘floors alight 35 years later, especially in that new intro edit, which sounds almost like some stray Arthur Russell joint at times (or perhaps the other way around?).
The real manna for dub heads is on the other side, though; Escape Goat Dub was initially intended for (then) upcoming singer-songwriter Garland Jeffreys’ new album, however, Jeffreys was a big dub nut and took the opportunity to properly cut loose with the FX, and not his vocals, as the label wanted. The results, almost predictably, ended up on a promo-only 12”, now kindly bubbled up again for anyone unaware of its earth-shuddering weight.