Ticklah Ticklah Vs. Axelrod
- Words: Justin Hopper
- Label: Easy Star
- XLR8R Rating: 9/10
In any musical movement, there’s bound to be a handful of individuals who act as an unseen driving force–the navigators who set the musical sextant and guide the ship. As America’s rekindled love for organic funkiness has grown, Victor “Ticklah” Axelrod has led those sounds, from the mid-’90s heyday of Stubborn Records to Easy Star’s Dub Side of the Moon. But on Vs.–a battle in dub reggae against his own perfectionism and self-doubt–Ticklah provides a graffito-that-should-be: “Dub’s Not Dead.” With deeply funky yet subtle dubs, full of the elusive qualities that keep fans returning to Keith Hudson or King Tubby, Ticklah warps reggae, ska, Latin, and African material with a wealth of musical history and new ideas. This is strong but accessible music that could please the pot-leaf T-shirt crowd and proper enthusiasts alike. Utterly brilliant.
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