Finally back in print: Staubgold's vinyl edish of David Cunningham's peerless The Secret Dub Life of The Flying Lizards. The source tapes for this LP were recorded in Jamaica by Jah Lloyd circa '73-'74 as a part of a series he was making for Virgin's Front Line imprint, but were never used for their intended purpose. Instead, Front Line's Jumbo Vanrennen (we should all have a friend called Jumbo) passed them to Cunningham and invited him to remix them as he saw fit.
Cunningham continues: "I accepted the project, expecting lots of time in one of Virgin's studios to play with the music and the equipment, only to be presented with a mono master tape. So I began to invent (or perhaps re-invent) techniques of editing, looping, filtering and subtraction to deal with unremixable mono material (these were the days before samplers).
"The subsequent work took a long time: as I thought it might be something of an indulgence I worked on it at weekends and evenings rather than let it interfere with other projects. The techniques used here expanded my vocabulary of musical electronic (as opposed to electronic music) treatments and appear in a very different form on records made at that time. Notably 'Fourth Wall', my collaboration with Patti Palladin, and my production work on Michael Nyman's records."
The result - which lay unreleased until a CD on Cunningham's Piano label in 1995 - is one of the most strikingly inventive and immersive dub sets of all time, radical yet rootical, properly tuff rhythm-wise but at the same taking reggae into a truly meditative, ethereal space, exploring the limits of form and technique while staying true to the spirit of Lloyd's tunes and his (unidentified) musicians' playing (truer than the brace of '95-produced tracks Cunningham added for the CD issue - both brilliant, but occupying more of a date-stamped ambient-techno zone). The original cache of '74 versions remain uniquely sumptuous, aqueous, ineffable, awe-inspiring.
No home etc etc!