Sideshow - Admit One

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  • There's a telling detail in the credits to Fin Greenall's second Sideshow full-length for Aus Music; actually, to be accurate, it's a detail that's missing—the writing credits. Sidemen, producers and engineers are meticulously recognized and guest vocalist Cortney Tidwell is acknowledged as the writer and performer of the vocals on post-post-punk opener "Television," but as for the other songwriting? Well, Greenall explains it a bit in his long-ish sleeve note:
    Some of the tracks on this album are just straight up tracks, others are like covers or versions of tracks I love. Yeah—there are a few samples in there, yeah that bass line is the bass line from that old record. Sometimes dub and the nature of dub is about paying tribute, not stealing ideas. This fine line...runs through this record.
    In this way, Greenall's Admit One is like Trevor Jackson's work as Playgroup in that he is using ideas, stars and perhaps even specific snippets of his favorite records to create the music he would have made had he been there at the time. Tidwell's dynamic opener is a wonderful track, a New Wave chart entry that never saw the light of day in the early '80s, but it soon gives way to all manner of more dub-centric tracks that have a distinctly different feel from it and from each other. "If Alone" features the great Paul St. Hilaire in one of his strongest vocals to date; "African Cherry" includes gentle, weeping strings, an oasis against the echoing shimmer of the rhythm, that lead neatly into Samar's world-weary vocal turn on "French Model in Dub," transforming it into an island torch song. The title track recalls the minimal avant-pop-dub of PiL or the Pop Group—bands similarly influenced but not overwhelmed by the immortal Jamaican dub producers. There's a distinctly old-school Jamaican vibe to everything here, accentuated by the tight live instrumentation by Greenall and crew, but with enough individualized modern touches to keep things from getting samey. The resulting jukebox-like album succeeds on that level; though it wouldn't be mistaken for actual Jamaican dub from the '60s and '70s, it certainly has the adventurous technique, "borrowed" melodies and rhythms and the all-important "vibe" that keeps Admit One from being a simple tribute album. It runs Greenall's love for dub and its atmospheric production techniques through his own musical sensibility, making this a comfortable listen for modern fans, as well as retro-minded ones.
  • Tracklist
      01. Television feat. Cortney Tidwell 02. Sequential Dub 03. If Alone feat. Paul St. Hilaire 04. African Cherry 05. French Model in Dub feat. Samar 06. Bottletop feat. Tina Grace 07. Youth of Today 08. Admit One 09. These Things I See in My Vision 10. Strung Outro