Jah Wobble Returns With 'Mu'

Although bassist Jah Wobble has released solo albums on a regular basis since exiting Public Image Limited in 1980, his latest, "Mu," is his first "commercial" release in quite some time.

Although bassist Jah Wobble has released solo albums on a regular basis since exiting Public Image Limited in 1980, his latest, "Mu," is his first "commercial" release in quite some time. Due Sept. 12 in the U.K. via Trojan Records, the largely instrumental album will arrive Oct. 25 in North America.

"It was actually supposed to be a 5.1 recording," Wobble tells Billboard.com, "That I did with an old friend of mine, Mark Lusardi. I've worked with him since the days of Public Image actually. He was the engineer on the early Public Image sessions and some of my solo stuff, and we did a movie soundtrack for a French film, 'Fureur,' a couple of years ago.

"It was my first sojourn into using 5.1 and I really enjoyed it," he continues. "I just wanted to make a 5.1 album, but technically, it started to get a bit difficult. I realized maybe I'd bitten off a little more than I could chew, in regards to post-production. So with just two mixes under our belt, I said to Mark, 'Let's make it a stereo album, but kind of keep that 5.1 sensibility,' which is what we did."

Wobble admits that "Mu" (whose title refers to an "old Zen Koan") harkens back to his earlier work that could be more easily be grasped by the average rock fan. "I think I got onto quite a roll in the early '90s, and got quite a nice blend that for the time, had quite the commercial elements, as well as being fairly groundbreaking in a way. And it culminated in 'Take Me to God' [1994], which in old kind of terms, was a double album.

"I just decided, that's it -- from then on I'm just going to make these very particular kind of albums," he adds. "Until I really feel the need or just get the urge to do that kind of stuff that crosses over, I'm going to please myself. Which is what I've done. And lo and behold, it wasn't at the beginning of this project, it was about halfway through; it was like, 'Oh my God, I'm writing songs again' [laughs]! And I don't know why -- it just happened."

With several pre-release gigs planned for European festivals, Wobble and his backing band hope to tour on U.S. soil some time next year. With his schedule seemingly full for the time being, he may have to make room for another possible project that seems to building up steam on the rumor circuit: working once more with John Lydon as part of a Public Image Limited reunion.

"I've heard a lot of rumors -- a few people have phoned up about this the last few weeks," he says. "People are actually making kind of concrete offers in regards in record deals. It's quite amazing really. The only way that would happen is, for pride's sake, we would have to do something new. I think it can get sad if you just go down the road of putting stuff together for memories sake. It becomes almost like a covers band."

While Wobble hasn't kept in close contact with Lydon since exiting the group, he still has a great admiration for the oft-outspoken singer. "I've seen John twice since PiL finished, and we got on both times," he says. "We say nice things generally about each other, because it would be stupid not to. John's a c**, but I love him."

Here is the track listing for "Mu":

"Viking Funeral"
"Universal Dub"
"Kojak Dub"
"Buddha of Compassion"
"New Mexico Dub"
"Love Comes/Love Goes"
"Into the Light"


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