IF YOU WANT LOYALTY BUY A DOG, the latest album from guitarist and vocalist Skip McDonald’s Little Axe outfit, is that rare treat – a genuine late-career surprise. After earlier dalliances with Peter Gabriel’s Real World organisation and others, this seventh album finds him triumphantly back at On-U Sound alongside producer extraordinaire Adrian Sherwood and Roots Radics/Dub Syndicate drum guru Style Scott. The combination of Scott’s recycled and purpose-built reggae rhythms and McDonald’s sophisticated blues shapes works well on material that would come across as both familiar and fresh to senior residents of the Mississippi Delta and the Treasured Isle.
Making a mockery of the usual mediocre and hasty remix album standard, and completing the loop between today’s bassline jockeys and the dubwise originator, LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY PRESENTS NU SOUND & VERSION is another 30th-anniversary coup for Adrian Sherwood and the On-U Sound label. Kode 9, Digital Mystikz, Moody Boyz and Horsepower Productions all happily show their roots with artful, elegant dubstep renditions, while original junglist Congo Natty and new school beat operator Bullion push the boat out even further on a set that fully does justice to Perry’s inimitable legacy. Deserving of some big-speaker attention.