AFRICAN HEAD CHARGE Shrunken Head (On-U Sound/Fusion III) Rating: NNNN
For all his success with Tackhead and Dub Syndicate, no artist better captured what Adrian Sherwood was trying to do with his On-U Sound label than African Head Charge. The collective's Sherwood-produced psychedelic African dub was at once retro and immensely progressive, built around bongo sounds, hallucinatory chants and Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah's cryptic vocals. How appropriate, then, that Sherwood has relaunched his pioneering On-U imprint with a Head Charge best-of. Cleaned up and remastered, tracks like Pursuit, Heading To Glory and Language & Mentality still sound like nothing else ever put to tape, while the two new cuts here suggest that 20 years after they last worked together, Sherwood and the Head Charge crew still have plenty to say to each other.