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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Evolution, January 2009

 

Dub is an international style and the best Dub-Productions have long ceased to come from the UK alone (not to mention Jamaica). Yet we have ever considered Canada over here Dubbin ground spoken? Apart from Dubmatix, who lives and works here, has not yet heard any echoes from the north of the American continent. But as it turns out, that was because we didn't listen carefully enough, because the small label "Balanced Records" has been releasing a highly interesting musical mixture for several years now Dub makes up some volume fractions. Basically “Balanced” is about downtempo, nu jazz, electro and Dub, the whole thing additionally spiced with global sounds. But now - probably because of that Dub-Virus spreads inexorably, once it has infected its victim - is the label sampler "Northern Faction 4" (balanced-records.com) pronounced dubturned out heavy. The label makers have not only made use of their own musician stable, but have also licensed suitable tracks around the world. 14 artists have come together, of whom I have only been Noiseshaper, Dubmatix and the Subatomic Sound System. Most of the others are not in the strict sense either Dub-Artists, which makes it all the more interesting. Because that's how the straight ones are found Dubs one Dubmatix z. B. in an exciting contrast to a melancholy nu jazz piece or a hard electro track. Instead of rocking stoically in the offbeat tack for 70 minutes, “Nothern Faction 4” is more suitable for attentive listening and for getting involved in different moods. In other words: It's a slightly more intellectual, but especially eventful album that can be enjoyed with both stomach and head.

Instead of more straightforward, hypnotic Dub-Albums, this time somewhat unusual and tricky works are piling up on my table, albums that operate more on the edge of the genre than in its one-drop center. For example, there is the new album “Visions In Sonic Sense” (Malicious Damage / Cargo) by Analogue Mindfield, which - if you buy it as a physical data carrier - comes with a psychedelic cover and enclosed green-red 3D glasses. While looking at flying 3D eyes in space, there is music to be heard that can be assigned to the leftfield spectrum and sounds a little like unreleased Dreadzone tracks. "Acoustic soundscapes consisting of challenging, but still accessible music" are the aim of the Irish band. What sounds so abstract here can also be seen as a mixture of reggaeDub (also old-school), pop and electronics. There are (by the way, also like with Dreadzone) very catchy, almost chart-suitable pieces, but also experimental and weird ones Dubs to hear. Characteristic are sometimes small, sometimes large melodies that nestle in the ear canals. In addition, there are fast and often syncopated beats and a whole universe of various small sounds, small synth melody sequences and vocal samples - some of them border on overproduction. Overall, there is a light, good-humored atmosphere and it is undoubtedly fun to get involved with the "Visions In Sonic Sense".

It continues with an expedition to the limits of the Dub. Our guide is called Harmonic 313 and our field of research is time, "When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence" (Warp / Roughtrade). Those futuristic spheres are the favorite field of activity of Marc Pritchard, the electronic artist who has dedicated himself to so-called “UK bass music” since the early 1990s. This should make it clear what the relationship to Dub mainly consists: in the bass. "Bass! How Low Can You Go? ”Asked Public Enemy 20 years ago. With his new album, Pritchard now provides an impressive answer to this question. In his opinion, English dance music has been ruled by the bass for almost 20 years: Dub, Jungle, drum & bass, garage, Dubstep - and he had a say in all styles. And so it is not surprising that the futuristic-gloomy, but also hard and rational sounds on “When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence” are most likely to hit Dubstep (with clear references to Detroit techno and 80s electro). Reggae is in vain here (apart from the intro sample), but the excess of bass should still be a hit with anyone Dub put in a blissful state. 

Since we're so far from the classic Dub-Terrain removed, we'll stay a little longer in this border area and listen to the album "Underground Wobble" (Jarring Effects / Alive!) By High Tone. A group of operates under this title Dub-Alchemists from Lyon who made an eclectic music Dub, Industrial, hip-hop, trip-hop and ethnic samples together and the whole "Novo-Dub“Call. You can hear partly heavy, partly wild breakbeats and offbeats, screeching synths, oriental melody ornaments and hypnotic keyboard sounds. The right material to let your ears blown free by the Harmonic 313-Bass. If you listen carefully and penetrate the full, rich sound of the tracks, you will discover fascinating details such as z. B. gentle jazz interludes, contrasted by wild sirens, synth escapades (which could just as easily be samples of opera singing), as well as always indistinct, mysterious radio messages (in which a conspiracy theory is probably discussed). Instead of a consistently brutal sound, the individual pieces follow a sophisticated dramaturgy full of contrasts and surprises.

For a conciliatory end there is real reggae again: "Infinite Dub"By Midnite / Luster Kings (Luster Kings / Import). This is the Dub-Version of the album "Infinite Quality", a collaboration between Midnite singer Vaughn Benjamin and Luster producer Digital Ancient. The result of this collaboration is - at least in Dub-Form - reasonably boring. The riddims are pretty average, the singing can only be heard in tiny scraps (yes Dub!) and the production is, well, let's say: little inspired. Somehow the sound sounds strangely dull. Well, you can see that I can't get much positive out of the album. The vocal version was certainly better, because the few melody scraps that Dub-Treatment sound promising.

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