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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

RUTS DC VS. MAD PROFESSOR VS. ZION TRAIN

By Judson Kilpatrick
Published February 17, 2006

Rhythm Collision Vol. 1 & Remix Versions
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White guys playing reggae was certainly nothing new in 1982, especially in and around England's punk scene. But while groups like the Police and the Clash dabbled in roots rockers, the Ruts—after losing their lead singer to an overdose—plunged in headlong. The remaining members teamed up with the then relatively unknown Mad Professor and the resulting album, though hardly a hit, is a dub classic. The rhythms are engaging and inventive, with solid drumming, heavy basslines, spacey harmonica, wild effects, etc. Despite its relative obscurity, Rhythm Collision had such an impact on future members of the British dub collective Zion Train that, in 1998, they offered to remix the disintegrating master tapes (one track, the driving funk nugget "Push Yourself—Make It Work," was beyond repair). The Zion Train versions are not significantly different, just a bit smoother with occasional horn stabs from their oh-so-cleverly named Bras Section. The main reason to get this two-disc set is because it contains all the bonus 12-inch mixes from the original vinyl edition, which were left off of the ROIR reissues.

See also

   BIG YOUTH