Basement 5

Bringing what accidentally became a bit of a Martin Hannett marathon to a close with this post.

Basement 5 was an odd one. A post-punk outfit that desperately wanted to infuse their sound with reggae and dub in a compelling way, but that never quite made it there. Their one and only LP, which Hannett produced, 1965-1980, aspirationally titled as such to evoke the pantheon of reggae's golden years, is a grubby racket, a taught yet messy mixture of slick guitar shreds, clattering drums, Joe Strummer-y wails, and crunchy white noise. I can't say it's particularly pleasing, but the idea is intriguing, and the whole record isn't especially long, so no welcomes are overstayed. (Funnily enough, the drummer was a guy named Richard Nother, who was in Strummer's 101'ers. Later, he was in Public Image Limited as well as the Raincoats, too.)

It's the collection of dub mixes, In Dub, that I sincerely enjoy. Basement 5 goes down a little easier when its rusted, torn edges have been blunted into something a little lumpier and clunkier.