The second album by Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart continued the bassist's exploration into ethnic fusion, merging together music from different world traditions with pop production and his own dub-influenced bass guitar. Fans of Wobble's earlier work with Holgar Czukay and Public Image Limited might be surprised and a bit dismayed at first by the glossy production and pop nature of some of the tracks here; one would never have guessed that Wobble would come up with something as commercial as the Latin pop of "Ungodly Kingdom." However, much of the music is remarkable and on each listen seems to contain something new. Wobble is far more interested in experimentation than simply adding world sounds to pop music. The tracks with Middle Eastern influences, including the amazing "Everyman's an Island," are quite remarkable and most feature the fine talents of Natasha Atlas. Meanwhile, the trance-like opener, "Visions of You," which guests Sinéad O'Connor on vocals, is absolutely beautiful. On the title track, Wobble even returns to his past, with he and guitarist Justin Adams bringing the sound of early PiL forward ten years.
Ever since he emerged with PiL in 1978, Jah Wobble has carved a unique and very charismatic niche, drawing on musical styles such as dub, jazz and world music.
Taking as their inspiration the Greek myth of Orpheus, European improv king Evan Parker (tenor and soprano saxophone) and Invaders of the Heart alumni Clive Bell and Jean-Pierre Rasle invest in a series of stark, repetitive bass and drum structures on Passage to Hades. At the music's core is the rhythm axis of Jah Wobble and Mark Sanders. The duo maps out the territory, delivering all that's required and more through minimal means. It's a refreshing change of scenery for Parker, who's normally heard in avant-garde ensembles or blazing solo performances. Here, he's confined to a stark, muscular groove and he responds beautifully. Like the later recordings by John Coltrane (an early influence), the saxophonist unleashes an abundance of dialog on his instruments, though he never quite reaches the torrents of sound one might expect.
The strange, spiritual album that is Umbra Sumus is one of the more interesting items released in 1998. Bassist and composer Jah Wobble creates strangely compelling soundscapes that draw textures from a variety of ethnic traditions without explicitly evoking any one of them. The first cut, "Il Jevedro il Oblanco," sets the pace with a duet for what sounds like a toy music box and fuzz bass, but suddenly becomes a lush electronica-pop track as vocalist Amila Sulejmanovic begins singing in Bosnian. Elsewhere, Natacha Atlas croons in Arabic over a texture not of ouds and doumbeks, but of synthesized percussion, keyboards, and Wobble's own throbbing bass, and it sounds perfectly natural.
Former PiL bassist, post punk icon and general cool cat Jah Wobble is set to release Everything is Nothing, his new album with his ever-morphing, genre-enveloping combo Invaders of the Heart on August 26. Made with producer Youth, it’s a super jazzy record and the lineup this time out is pretty damn impressive, featuring Hawkwind’s Nik Turner and the incomparable Tony Allen on drums.
This early jewel in the career of Holger Czukay, recorded on the heels of his groundbreaking 1981 LP "On the Way to the Peak of Normal", should be required listening to fans of the idiosyncratic studio wizard, as always one of the more creative inmates in the Krautrock asylum. For this session Czukay was joined (once again) by Jaki Liebezeit, his erstwhile partner in the CAN rhythm section, and by maverick bass guitar legend Jah Wobble, forming one of the most distinctive and unusual power trios ever assembled (drums / bass / …shortwave radio?). The addition of Wobble's muscular bass guitar left Czukay free to indulge his fascination with studio sound collages (the album instrumentation credits him with 'radio painting'), here distilled to a more rock-based format not dissimilar from the energetic "Ode to Perfume", a highlight of his previous LP.