You always meet twice. Do I just have Robbie Ost from the Go East Studios a "not a particularly impressive mix“Assuming that a new album is around the corner that makes my ears flicker - in the most positive sense, mind you. I have seldom heard such a nicely balanced mixdown - even though the sound layer is obviously layered on top of the sound layer and a wonderful analog one Dub-Effect follows the other. The whole thing results in a tightly interwoven network of sounds that, even after the umpteenth time listening, still reveals something new and unheard. And yes, Robbie Ost contributed to this really impressive mix and you can find it on the album "C Jones meets Ale X: Kalimba is my Telephone in Dub“(Echo Beach).
I fully understand everyone to whom neither artist nor album title say anything; I was no different. So here's a quick run-through: Ale X is Ali Tersch, drummer for Dubblestandart and Supermax, who was also on the road with Steel Pan musician Courtney Jones and flautist Lore Grutschnig as a trio "Steel Pan meets Kalimba". While the Trinidadian steel pan is well known, the kalimba is the African "thumb piano" that is still used ceremonially in Zimbabwe to communicate with ancestors. Ali Tersch and Lore Grutschnig have further developed the instrument and used it as an electrified version for performances:
Five years after the death of Courtney Jones, Ali Tersch aka Ale X has now finalized the trio's studio recordings. Originally planned as a regular release, the tedious mixing of the tracks gave rise to the idea of a DubAlbums. Its title “Kalimba is my Telephone in Dub“, Says Ale X, stands metaphorically for the contrast between the latest digital and millennia-old musical communication - but ultimately it is also an expression of the bond with the late Courtney Jones.
Electro Dub? World Dub? Ale X defends itself against categorization - and it is indeed difficult to classify the music. Memories of the Howie B / Sly & Robbie production, which is now 20 years old, "Drum & Bass Strip to the Bone“Are awakened - could the new album be understood as a contemporary further development of this concept using today's technical possibilities? Ale X sees the comparison as a compliment; Sly & Robbie were and are still in charge for him. In fact, he not only worked with the original studio recordings, but also with audio snippets and field recordings that were made while traveling, for example in India. The main roles, however, are played by the electric kalimbas and the steel pan - both were sometimes only recognizable as such to the reviewer after listening to them a lot. This is also what makes the album so appealing: steel pan, flute, kalimbas, percussions - everything on board; but never “in your face!”, but rather carefully integrated and interwoven in the mix, so that new nuances are constantly revealed.
Therefore, to assume a naive, lovely, perhaps even instructive ethno-world music mentality would be a fatal mistake: Ale X creates a decent groove with loops and beats and uses it Dub-Techniques not just for individual effects, but as a stylistic device - or as an independent instrument, if you will. The whole thing results in a wonderful sound package, which may initially appear a little brittle - only to then gradually open up and reveal its many sound secrets. Ultimately no Dub-Album in the most conservative sense - but a substantial, through & through successful debut of an accomplished musician.
(... and for the extremely beautiful cover art I put half a star on top)