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Jah Wobble

From Academic Kids

Jah Wobble (born John Wardle) is an English bass guitarist, singer, poet and composer. There are several versions of the origin of his stage name: One account places the origin on a drunken, mumbled version of Wardle's name by Sid Vicious; another states it was wordplay based on Wardle's name, and his fascination with the "wobbly" basslines of reggae and related genres, where praise to "Jah"--a near-homonym of "John"--is often offered.

Wobble is a longtime friend of Johnny Rotten and, according to the latter's autobiography, was once on the short list of replacements for original Pistols bassist Glen Matlock. However, the rest of the band considered him "too intimidating"; A dubious distinction indeed, especially given the reputation and actions of Vicious, who was selected to replace Matlock.

Wobble eventually got his start with John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols group Public Image Ltd (PiL). Wobble's playing drew heavily on dub, which has remained an important feature of his music.

He left PiL in 1980--some accounts report he was fired--and has since collaborated with a wide variety of musicians. His explorations into World music predated much of the genre's popularity. His music has spanned a number of genres, including ambient music and dance music, and in 2003, reworkings of traditional English folk songs. Though he has released recordings since the early 1980's. Wobble has been quite prolific from the mid-1990's to the present.

Collaborators include Sinéad O'Connor, Natacha Atlas, Najma Akhtar, Baaba Maal, Brian Eno, Holger Czukay, Pharoah Sanders, Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Björk, Ginger Baker, The Orb, Massive Attack, The Edge, Abdel Ali Slimani, Primal Scream, Evan Parker, The Shamen and Invaders of the Heart.

As well as the work he directs, Jah Wobble is also a member of The Damage Manual.

Outside of music, Jah Wobble worked a regular job in the London Underground as a break from his music career.

Discography

  • Metal Box/Second Edition (with PiL)
  • Betrayal
  • Bedroom Album
  • Neon Moon
  • Tradewinds
  • Psalms
  • Without Judgement
  • Rising Above Bedlam
  • Take Me to God
  • Spinner (with Brian Eno)
  • Heaven and Earth
  • The Inspiration of William Blake
  • Celtic Poets
  • Requiem
  • Light Programme
  • Umbra Sumus
  • Deep Space
  • Full Moon Over the Shopping Mall
  • Beach Fervour Spare
  • Molam Dub
  • Passage to Hades
  • Radioaxom
  • Deep Space: Largely Live
  • Solaris: Live in Concert
  • Fly
  • I Could Have Been a Contender (Anthology)
  • 30 Hertz - A Collection of Diverse Works From A Creative Genius
  • Elevator music
  • English Roots Music (with The Invaders of the Heart)
  • Car Ad Music
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