INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Songlines OCTOBER 2015 - by Garth Cartwright
JAH WOBBLE: REDUX - ANTHOLOGY 1978-2015
Jah may Wobble but he doesn't fall down
After two game-changing albums with his mate Johnny Rotten's post-Sex Pistols band Public Image Ltd, John Wardle, AKA Jah Wobble, left to work in various guises. This included time with Invaders Of The Heart (which gave a leg-up to both Natacha Atlas and Justin Adams), the Chinese Dub Orchestra and the English Roots Orchestra, not forgetting collaborations with Bill Laswell, Brian Eno, Holger Czukay and many, many more. Here, across six CDs, Wobble organises his oeuvre by category: 'Greatest Hits' (ahem); 'The Eighties'; 'World Roots'; 'Jazz' (ahem); 'Ambient And Spoken Word'; and 'Cover Versions' (of TV and film themes).
While the scope may be epic, Wobble's sound is always very much grounded in his fat, rolling bass lines; he is thus very reliant on his collaborators and what they bring to the sessions. The quality varies wildly from the truly inspired to ambient-dub dullness (the 'Cover Versions' CD is very flat) and Wobble's enthusiasm to record and issue albums occasionally overrides any concerns as to how fresh the music might be. Wobble is admirable for refusing to sit still, though the sheer size of this anthology probably makes it one for the more hardcore fans.