Release Date: 07.16.02
Record label: astralwerks
Genre(s): Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.
by: bill aicher
For a group who, first of all, doesn't really exist and who, second of all, really only has one major release album to their name, Gorillaz sure have been busy for the past year and a half. Their self-titled album debuted March of 2001, it was followed by an excellent b-side collection aptly titled G-Sides, and now there's their latest: Laika Come Home.
With Laika, the Gorillaz have once again managed to put out a highly engaging release, without really doing anything new. Laika, you see, is really nothing more than a dub/reggae reworking of their debut. But that's not bad - not in the least. In fact it's pretty damn good.
Employing the assistance of the "Spacemonkeyz" (Gavva, D.Zire, and Dubversive), Laika Come Home manages to be a Gorillaz album without really any of the Gorillaz. Sure you'll find snippets here and there of what made the Gorillaz disc what it was, but really what you're getting is a wonderful selection of dub and reggae with the occasional tripped-out electronic splash tossed in for good measure.
The latest remix of "19/2000" - "Jungle Fresh" opens the disc in prime form: a deep-bassline and vintage organ driven reggae track sure to make King Tubby himself bob his head in satisfaction. Meanwhile, "Strictly Rubbadub" ("Slow Country") and "De-Punked" ("Punk") explore the horn/electronic end of the spectrum and even manage to nearly outdo their originals.
Honestly though, it's not even fair to compare Laika to Gorillaz debut. It's an entirely different breed of album, and stands well-enough on it's own - and is surely more than enough to please both Gorillaz fans and the general dub/reggae enthusiast.
And if that's not enough proof, check out the stoney-goodness of "Lil Dub Chefin'" (M1A1). It's got Terry Hall for Christ's sake! If his seal of approval isn't enough, then God help you now. 21-Aug-2002 6:15 PM