The drum-and-bass team of Sly & Robbie once titled one of its albums Rhythm Killers, which is appropriate considering that the two players have so much experience under their collective belt—from Black Uhuru to Mick Jagger to Bill Laswell—that their music can indeed be lethal, in the best possible way. But though drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare make up one of reggae's all-time great rhythm sections, the duo has had trouble bringing its dub-wise riddims into the '90s. Fortunately, the awkwardly titled Drum & Bass Strip To The Bone By Howie B brings in a ringer who modernizes Sly & Robbie's indelible playing: producer and DJ Howie Bernstein. Howie B, yet another studio whiz from the MoWax camp, has worked with such big names as Björk and U2, and has released several great singles and two strong albums of his own. Teamed with Sly & Robbie, who supply more than enough rhythmic ingenuity for him to work with, Bernstein deconstructs, reconstructs, and spices up Strip To The Bone like a Scottish Lee "Scratch" Perry. The album serves as a logical progression from Sly & Robbie's pioneering experiments with electronics and programming, and, like the duo's hip-hop collaborations on the Silent Assassin record, the combination of old-school dub with new-school studio techniques makes for a pretty successful hybrid. Strip To The Bone's songs are kept relatively light and limber, with only a touch of the low-end dub rumble for which the duo is known, but the fast tempos, funky beats, and jaunty melodies are pretty refreshing. Granted, as dub techniques basically form the blueprints for all electronic music, this kind of stuff has been done before, but Dunbar and Shakespeare possess the skills to shine though the ambient murk.