"Though yes, this certainly is not a "driving album" or a great party record, you wouldn't hang Warhol in your bathroom either. The sole purpose for this recording was to give Mr. Partridge a chance to flex his creative muscles, and to create from the clay of his and Colin's earlier work, brand new art. Like "The Greatest Living Englishman" collaboration and the new Home Demos album, this is not about the music, but rather this is about what the music's about. Its detractors are, I feel, missing the point. Spend a day as Brian Wilson, or eat lunch with Jim Starlin, or transcribe the dialogue in "Waiting for the Electrician", then listen to this again. If you follow all that, you'll absolutely love this album. If you don't, Buy "Big Express" and put "Smalltown" on repeat for an hour or so. When you figure out what the kazoo sound really is, come back to this one."
P. A. Agnew | Wellington New Zealand | 03/29/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"For XTC completists only. Some of the electronic experiments here are quite amusing to listen to, such as "A Dictionary of Modern Mariage" or "The Forgotten Language of Light" (strange titles these) but many of the other samples border on the unlistenable i.e. "New Broom" or "The Rotary".This album was more fun for Mr Partridge to make than for us to listen to. If you're new to XTC, here's where you should begin:If you're under 25, start with "Drums and Wires."If you're between 25 to 35, start with "Black Sea."If you're older than 35, start with "Skylarking."Enjoy..."
Missing the point
Bill Wikstrom | 03/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The detractors are indeed missing the point. This album is Drums and Wires sliced, diced, ruffled and shuffled. The pleasure (and it is my favourite all-time album) comes not from what you hear but from what's in your head from Drums and Wires in the context of the dub experiments. My greatest regret is that Andy Partridge stopped here and turned the XTC ship into musically safer waters. More dubs please Andy, soon.By the way, if you get a chance just *listen* to the atmosphere dripping from Shore Leave Ornithology"
Beyond The Drums And The Wires Lies...
Bill Wikstrom | Long Island, NY | 09/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This compact disc (issued at the same time as Rag & Bone Buffet) compiles the GO+ EP (initially issued with Go 2) and Mr. Partridge's Take Away/The Lure Of Salvage LP (issued in early 1980). Taking pre-existing tracks of songs (mainly from Drums & Wires) and re-processing them, either taking drum, keyboard parts and adding effects, slowing them down, turning them up/down, re-recording vocals, guitar, whathaveyou and giving them a whole new identity. The experiment surprisingly works most of the time. Partridge was obviously enjoying himself in the studio and it makes for a truly unique listening experience. If you're looking for an album of catchy singles of joyous XTC pop - don't look here. This is very much a "dub" album in the truest sense of it's original meaning. Which was very popular in reggae music in the second half of the 1970's in the UK punk scene (oddly enough). "I Sit In The Snow" (over the bridge of "Roads Girdle The Globe") is very interesting as is "Madhattan" (over "That is the way"). "Commerciality (Signal Ad)" is a great song (over the unreleased "Refridgeration Blues"). This is a collection that truly deserves repeated listens as there's always something else interesting on the listening horizon. And it's not an easy listen given the very empty nature and space of most of the material. It sounds like, in some cases, listening to the individual backing tracks in the studio and with added effects to them. Which is pretty cool given the nature of the excellence that is XTC."
Braving The Experiment (Andy Paints Andy & Colin)
a fan | Midwest | 05/04/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While it's entirely true that the uninitiated XTC afficionado should not start with 'Dub Experiments 78 - 80' in their sonic explorations, the collection remains a fascinating collage of sound sculptures, with various instrumental tracks lifted from XTC songs to make entirely new songs. One great example of this is 'The Rotary,' where Andy Partridge utilizes the rhythm bed of 'Helicopter' and takes a decidely left turn with the new melody. If you have to have everything XTC has ever commercially released, you'll want to have this. If you're a casual listener, you might think twice."