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The Secret Dub Life of The Flying Lizards:The Flying Lizards

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Artist: The Flying Lizards

Date Released: 1995 (recorded 1978)

Label: Piano

Produced By: David Cunningham (from tapes by Jah Lloyd)

Tracklisting:

  1. Preface (mixed in 1995)
  2. Shake
  3. Time And Salt
  4. Mute
  5. Skin And Stone
  6. Crab Claw
  7. Outside
  8. Inside
  9. Ash And Diamond
  10. Flicker
  11. Postscript (Mixed in 1995)
  12. Untitled Bonus Track

ReviewEdit

This isn't really a Flying Lizards record, but what it is is still interesting. In 1978, Virgin records asked David Cunningham to do a dub album of a record by Jah Lloyd. He agreed, and Virgin sent the tapes. Unfortunately, for some reason, the tapes sent to David Cunningham were mixed down mono versions—useless for doing dub. So, of course, he did what anyone would do—give up and call the label to get the right tapes. No, wait, I'm sorry, I got that wrong -- he invented his own techniques to make dub records from mono mixdowns. I always get those two confused. Anyway, as it always goes, by the time David Cunningham had finished the record (even though I don't think it took him too much awfully longer—especially since he had to figure out how to use unusable tapes...), Virgin had cooled on the project, and it never came out until 1995 on David Cunningham's own Piano label.

So, how is it? Surprisingly interesting. I am SO not a fan of Reggae, and so I'm probably not the best person to judge this record, but, well, if I have to listen to something reggae-inspired, I want it to be dub, and if I want to listen to dub, I'd rather it be this record. While it doesn't sound too much like The Flying Lizards, there's enough of that sound in there to make it interesting to Flying Lizards fans, and, well, David Cunningham is brilliant (as if it weren't evidenced by him MAKING A DUB ALBUM FROM MONO TAPES—sorry, can't get over that), so these tend to be pretty good. I wish they were a bit more experimental, but, well, the way he made the album is pretty goddamn experimental, so, you know, I can't really complain about that.

Since it's not really a Flying Lizards album, I can't really recommend it as, like, a place to start, but if you're a fan of dub, reggae or studio experimentation, definitely pick this up. On one hand, it's an interesting experiment, and on the other hand, it's actually pretty good to listen to as well. - Rev. Syung Myung Me

Further readingEdit

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