Ruts Babylon's Burning Reconstructed

Neo-no-wavers, welcome to the one riddim album: Babylon’s Burning Reconstructed is 16 versions of the Ruts’ most enduring song. One of the many things Jamaican production has taught the world is that if you’ve come up with a good rhythm, you ride it out as much as you can, squeezing every possible nuance out of it. Fortunately, the original "Babylon’s Burning” is still a blast of fresh air 25 years later and is ripe for the re-contextualisation. Only one remixer decided not to build on the song’s natural aggression; most treat the tune as something to be amplified rather than modified. Some mixes merely tighten up the sound, loudening up the frequency spectrum for a contemporary sound system; others insert programmed drums for an additional kick. The pacing of the disc helps move things along; while there are no cross-fades between versions, a track literally never misses a beat after the fade of the previous. Highlights include Rob Smith’s nu-dub treatment, Groove Corporation’s slight departure from their usual break beat-laden treatments and Organic Grooves’ disco-rockers treatment, which sustains the energy even after the 50-minute mark. Like the Jamaican one-riddim albums, it’s hard to say what kind of shelf life this will have, but this was a project well worth putting together. (Collision — Cause of Chapter 3)