Jah Wobble's Solaris
Live In Concert 2002, CD

Jah Wobble, bass player extraordinaire and formerly with bands as diverse as Public Image Limited (P.I.L.), Human Condition or Invaders Of The Heart, takes a different route with his recent band project "Solaris". This is their current live recording.

Jah Wobble (born John Wardle) is an innovative bass player and a man with a rich musical history. He'd started his career in John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols outfit P.I.L. where his free form and experimental playing style, heavily influenced by early avantgarde bands like Can, contributed to P.I.L.'s distinctive music.

In 1980, he would drop out of the band and go for a solo career that would lead him to interesting collaborations with U2 guitarist The Edge and Can's Holger Czukay. A few years later, Jah decided to disband his musical activities, but was drawn back by his growing interest in so called World Music. In 1987, Jah joined forces with guitarist Justin Adams in Invaders Of The Heart, a band that surprisingly gained major success. The Invaders Of The Heart built on their reputation as a great live band and released a couple of very groovy records throughout the early 1990ies. Apart from that, Jah has also done a lot of experimental concept albums for his own record label "30 Hertz".

Now here is Jah's current band project Solaris, featuring an impressive line-up with Harold Budd (piano/keyboards), Graham Haynes - son of Jazz drummer Roy Haynes - (coronet, electronics), Bill Laswell (bass and effects) and legendary drummer Jaki Liebezeit (formerly with Can). Solaris indulge in their intense mixture of Dub, Ambient, Trance, Space, and a pinch of Jazz. 4 tracks are included on the CD, three of which easily exceed pop song standards with their playing time of 20 minutes. The music builds on Jaki Liebezeit's steady and simple groove and is more or less improvised. Jah and Bill are responsible for the low end with their lengthy bass solos varying in sound from guitar-like to electronic, while Harold Budd delivers sparse melodies on his piano.

The songs require careful listening and might express a little bit too much selfindulgence for people unfamiliar with that kind of music. But fans of free-style musical escapades take the magic trip on Solaris' smooth soundsculptures, single, no return. For Jah Wobble, Solaris is just another stop on his way through the musical universe, much in the same way as his projects from the past: Invaders Of The Heart with their ethnic sound pool, Molam Lao Ensemble (Dub meets sounds from Laos), or his collaboration with saxophone player Evan Parker for the album "Passage To Hades".

Label: 30 Hertz Records

(rb, t&a: rh)

>> 30 Hertz Website

Solaris, the Supergroup of free-style music?