On this foray, the "remixers" are a trio of mutant cosmonaut monkeys who worship Laika, the dog the Soviet Union sent into orbit during the Cold War, and honor her with an album of deep instrumental dub. Nakamura and his monkeys mostly avoid the temptation to ape dub's godfather, Lee "Scratch" Perry, though there are some recognizable homages on several cuts. Unfortunately, a few cuts teeter on the brink of pop mediocrity, such as the lightweight, Specials-style ska of "Lil' Dub Chefin'." But dub is a deep and expansive landscape, and Nakamura seems to grasp the genre's possibilities. He also demonstrates an ear for offbeat vocalists, including toaster Earl 16 and U-Brown, the master of dancehall non sequiturs.
It's nice to see that commercial success doesn't have to mean compromise. Automator fans and acolytes of trippy, spliffed-out dub will not be disappointed. Put on your favorite space suit, dim the lights and fire it up. Hallucinogenic space bananas are optional.
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