after their self-titled debut, the Gorillaz put out two other projects that would be considered a part of their first phase: a B-Sides record to help make up for some sub-par marketing in Japan, and a Dub remix of their debut LP.

G-Sides has 2 19-2000 remixes in the first three songs. the first, the Soulchild Remix, i feel just about alright with. has some interesting mix-ups and changes, but keeps the feeling of the original intact. its aight. the second, the Wiseguys House of Wisdom Remix… def doesnt do it for me. there’s some interesting beats introduced, some neat layering and twists of the original, but there are sections of this that drag with no development and overall im just not a fan. sandwiched in the middle there is the English version of Latin Simone from the Tomorrow Comes Today EP. no additional thoughts about it, but i think this is a bad position on this compilation to out it, haha. i think The Sounder has a good vibe to it, i like the guests Phi Life Cypher, here. i actually like how long Faust spends just vibing in instrumental space. the lyrical components arent bad but i really wonder what a version of this track looks like that layered a few more loops on instead of bringing in lyrics looks like. oh look at that, its the Phi Life Cypher version of Clint Eastwood. i appreciate them using the beat and running with it, but i also liked them working with 2-D on The Sounder so i’m sad to see his choruses cut out of this. Ghost Train has a fun driving vibe to it, like being chased by the ghost train. come back to me on this track in a bit, i dig it but its not jumping up any lists anytime soon (yet). Hip Albatross aint really my jam. and closing it out with another returning track, 12D3. still p good, still works really well as a closer, haha.

faves –
dislikes –

man b-sides collections like this can be really hard to review. i dont think any of these are bad, but its hard to find a thematic throughline, or some kind of unifying purpose because the them is “what’s left after the album”, yknow? the tracks on here are a fun listen (if you dig Gorillaz), and while im not into some of them i think others are playing in fun space – The Sounder and Ghost Train both feel like tracks that could really grow on me, and i think there’s a gem buried in Faust. on the whole though, aight.

G-Sides – 3/10

in Lore, the dub record was made by a couple of monkeys that had been experimented on in space and crashed into Kong Studios, then used the recording equipment to make music while the band was on tour. cute and silly. hence, the attributed Space Monkeyz on these tracks, who were Darren Galea, Richie Stevens, and Gavin Dodds irl

i’ll say out the gate that i’m no dub enthusiast. my experience with the genre has been limited and almost entirely in the vein of ska artists dipping their toes in. i’ve been interested, but rarely enthused.

Jungle Fresh is primarily a mix of 19-2000, and its neat enough. i like the added horns a lot, predictably. Strictly Rubbadub is a remix of Slow Country, and features vocals added by U Brown. i… might like this more than Slow Country ngl. feels like a completely new track, haha. doesnt help that i wasnt huge on Slow Country. Bañana Baby is the dub mix of Tomorrow Comes Today, and interestingly was featured on the single release under a different title. this one’s interesting, as its spacing out and drawing aprt one of the slower and more drawn out tracks on the record, haha. does a p good job! Monkey Racket mixes Man Research (Clapper), and it feels like it spends a lot of its time in the same space. De-Punked is, well, Punk, haha. they created a real serene experience outta this mix, esp given what they started with. P45 (mixing 5/4) is uh, a rosy, welcoming groove. this is probably the closest to my prior experiences with dub, and yeah i dig this a lot, ngl. Dub Ø9 is, well, it’s the dub mix of Starshine. not huge on this one. some neat new instrumental additions but not my jam. Sound Check (Gravity) returns as Crooked Dub, and i like this take quite a bit, haha. Mutant Genius (New Brother (Genius)) keeps a lot of the vocals in, in an interesting move, and i like the bass heavy grooves here. Come Again is the mix of Re-Hash, and has a great sense of humor. Re-Hash is such a bright track (and also directly had a reference to dub in it), and i think this is a very fun treatment of it. A Fistful of Peanuts is hilarious as a name for a Clint Eastwood remix, ngl. features guest vocals from U Brown and Earl Sixteen, this track is p neat. Lil’ Dub Chefin’ is the single from this release, and is thr dub mix of M1A1. i can see why this is the single. this one turns up the syncopation, keeps a lot of the vocals, and uses the reverb as an accent and less a focus, especially in that opening two minutes. i might have to see if i can dig up a single version of this track, with the bonus track shaved off, cause i like this a lot. bonus track here is More Rubbadub, and it’s…. more Rubbadub, yup.

faves – P45, Lil’ Dub Chefin’
dislikes –

this record wasn’t bad. i wanna get that out of the way, because honestly i wasn’t a huge fan of it, but it was extremely well crafted and constructed, and i found it very pleasant to vibe along to. on the whole i enjoyed quite a bit of the added layers, but the slower pace at which they developed and evolved their sounds kept me from digging in and really enjoying. a pleasant but not personally engaging experience overall, but i’m sure either a bigger Gorillaz (the album) fan or a bigger dub fan might find really cool stuff to appreciate here that i overlooked.

Laika Come Home – 3/10

so yeah! that wraps up the initial rollout of the Gorillaz, p fun stuff. join me next time as i dive into Phase 2: Slowboat to Hades.

the first is the previous: Gorillaz | next: Demon Days

all my reviews for Gorillaz