Hollie Cook - Hollie Cook In Dub

An album that will sound very good indeed on any sound system this summer.

Label: Mr Bongo Recordings

Rating: 7

Last year’s self-titled debut album from Hollie Cook, daughter of Sex Pistol Paul Cook, was a slow burning summer record, a lovely slice of pop tinged reggae that Cook labelled ‘Tropical Pop’. There is something charmingly engaging about Cook’s reverential approximation of the reggae sounds that so captivated her in her youth, and her love of feted reggae singers like Janet Kay and Philis Dillon. A year later and the album’s producer, legendary figure in British reggae Prince Fatty, has reworked the album in an altogether deeper dub style.

There was certainly much in the album’s original version that lends itself well to the dub rework. The sound is authentic roots reggae with Prince Fatty warping and playing with sound, echoes and frequencies in the grand tradition of Jamaican sonic alchemists like King Tubby. Tracks like ‘Shadow Dub’ and ‘That Very Night Dub’ are developed into deep, mesmerising grooves, eminently danceable yet slightly hypnotic at the same time. Cook’s lilting vocals are used sparingly flitting in and out of the music creating a nice contrast between the powerful bass and reverb and the light and airy vocals.

There are three new tracks included which are among the highlights of the album. ‘For Me You Are Dub’ is an excellent ska style run through of an old Andrews Sisters track and its vibrant ebullient horns are perhaps the albums lightest moment. An even more drastic reinvention can be heard on the version of The Whispers’ disco classic ‘And The Beat Goes On’ which is elongated into a distended piece of deep roots. ‘Baby Dub’ completes the trio of new tracks, however its squelch-y beats and rhythms are fairly forgettable. As with the original album it is Cooks striking cover of The Shangri La’s ‘(Remember) Walking In The Sand’ that stands out, here it is transformed into an insidious mellifluous shuffle with Cook’s vocals a ghostly atmospheric presence.

‘Hollie Cook In Dub’ is certainly very much an album for reggae aficionados and some people may be slightly put off by the relentless bass heavy sound but as an approximation of reggaes dub heavy sound Prince Fatty has done an excellent job of taking Hollie Cooks sound on to a very much more experimental plane. This is an album that will sound very good indeed on any sound system this summer.