Elsewhere by Graham Reid

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Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Rob: Make It Fast, Make It Slow (Soundway)

Rob: Make It Fast, Make It Slow
Rob: Make It Fast, Make It Slow (Soundway)

In a reproduction of what must have been the original cheap cover, this minimal and curiously religious/sexual album by Rob from Ghana has all the look -- and resonance -- of a rare reggae album from Jamaica, the kind of music which comes with an air of mystery because you are hypnotosed by the sheer peculiar nature of the thing.

Singer/writer Rob was something of an enigmatic figure by all accounts and in the late Seventies when this was recorded he joined up with a horn section . . . but rather than deliver up punchy Afrobeat this one slows everything right down for often steamy effect (the title track is a rare instance of simulated male orgasm on record) and the underpinning of melodic bass and rounded guitar tone just add to the sense you are being taken somewhere rather steamy.

As with Marvin Gaye, the earthy Rob juggles the sexual with the spiritual (the mesmerising testifying of the obviously improvised I've Got to See You Again Lord and He Shall Live in You) but it this is a religiosity of his own making. The percussion sometimes approaches a sped-up Nyabinghi style and everywhere the grooves hit a rolling boil and lock in on it.

Wonderful guitar and bass work throughout, and the rather odd Rob bringing what sounds like a stoner sensibility to everything, but in a deeply serious way.

It is a strange one and I've been playing a lot more than is probably healthy. Still haven't unlocked it.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this and this.

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Tags: best of elsewhere 2012