Bombay Dub Orchestra’s 3 Cities Takes on a New Personality

Bombay Dub Orchestra - 3 Cities in Dub
Bombay Dub Orchestra – 3 Cities in Dub
Bombay Dub Orchestra

3 Cities in Dub (Six Degrees, 2009)

Several months back I reviewed Bombay Dub Orchestra’s 3 Cities. Now Bombay Dub Orchestra’s composers and producers Garry Hughes and Andrew T. Mackay have revisited the music of 3 Cities and turned out 3 Cities in Dub. Plying the listener with their warm, rich fusion of Indian, electronica and trance of the original, the Bombay Dub Orchestra has gone from dramatically dreamy to savagely hip. Spicing original tracks with lusher electronica and picking out lines of instrumentation and vocals, 3 Cities in Dub veers off into a musical fantasy land that discovers a new depth.

Digging deep for a new take, 3 Cities in Dub leaps headlong into the dance track vein while remaining true to the magnificent musicianship of the original tracks. While the opening track "Egypt By Air (Bombay Dub’s Funky Old Medina Remix" still hums with the exotic mix of darbuka, oud, santoor and sweeping strings, this version is flavored by a headier electronica. It’s clear from the opening that Hughes and Mackay aren’t just adding dance rhythms but finding a new depth or edge to the music. Remixing might be a misnomer – remaking might just be a better definition to what 3 Cities in Dub is all about.

"Monsoon Malabar (International Observer Remix)" painted over with a bold reggae beat and electronically enhanced vocals shimmers with new life. "Journey" kicks off the laid back original with a pounding dance rhythm against stunning vocals and sizzling flute. "Junoon (Bombay Dub’s Jaipur Active Remix) takes on another personality, one that is sultry and seductive with a deep-set beat, strings and edgy electronica.

The "Liquid Stranger’s Slipstrip Edit Journey" finds flavor with a fat, meaty beat and some outer space electronica. Going into the deep end, the "Alpha & Omega Dub #3" version of "Junoon" blasts the listener with some new-fangled electronica that simply melting against Hamiska Iyer’s vocals and Indian rhythms of the original.

One of my favorites has to be "Pathaan’s Epic Mix" version of "Journey." The free floating rhythmic loop, along with the repeating santoor and bansuri flute lines captures the feel of the original and its rushing landscape.

3 Cities in Dub takes on new personalities for its original mission and comes out sounding wickedly cool.

Buy 3 Cities in Dub. Other titles available: 3 Cities, Bombay Dub Orchestra

Author: TJ Nelson

TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.

Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.

Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.


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