Dub Narcotic Sound System meets The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Sideways Soul

While K records main man Calvin Johnson makes a couple appearances behind the board on Xtra, Johnson controls the mic on Sideways Soul. In exchange for a Blues Explosion remix on 1995’s Experimental Remixes EP, Calvin Johnson opted for a recording session with the Explosion trio of Spencer, drummer Russell Simins and guitarist Judah Bauer that took place back in 1997. Although three tracks from these sessions found their way onto Acme, the meat and potatoes are finally seeing the light of day. Calvin’s deep vocals and surreal commentary contrast with Spencer’s barking blues, while Jeff Smith spices the groove with his soulful organ. The results are definitely hit and miss, but a couple performances make the grade like the Beat Happening-styled straight up pop of “Love Ain’t On The Run” and an improvised rap jam gone right called “Fudgy The Whale” that locks into that Dub Narcotic garage groove. Apparently the Blues Explosion left town with the more inspired material. Appropriately enough, “Calvin’s On A Bummer” closes the album. (K)