It's one of those releases that you stumble upon by chance. You listen in briefly, something makes you sit up and take notice. You can't say what yet, but repeated listening exposes layer by layer and ultimately something interesting, special, beautiful opens up. Something that challenges the reviewer to research. What he finally finds is the debut of a (supposedly) unknown artist, whom he would like to know more about and with whom he makes contact. It's Andrew Stoch aka Drew Keys, who goes by the pseudonym Haze St. Dub the album "A New Beginning“(Haze St. Studios). Drew is excited about the idea of turning parts of an interview into a dubto incorporate blog.de review. I will email him the questions for this on December 12, 2020 - "... take your time and only answer those you find interesting".
And here we are now - with a fine album, or rather: a fine 7-track EP, which, with the exception of the track “Nebula”, seems like a single piece. Sure they are Dub-Tracks, but not of the traditional kind: The arrangements and instrumentation are a tad too imaginative and remind, also of the not particularly bass-heavy mixdown, of rock / pop instrumentals in reggae guise. This is by no means meant to be disrespectful, especially since there are obviously experienced musicians at work. Drew Keys himself plays keyboard sounds that have rarely or never been heard in the genre before; they sound contemporary, hip and could just as easily appear on a track listed on the Billboard charts. One could do something similar about his Dub-Mix say - classic echo and reverb: yes, but there are also effects that you would rather assign to a club remix. Contemporary Dub? No, that would be an exaggeration; it is rather an interesting mixture of musical skill, timbres and unusual effects. Is that still Dub or are they already instrumentals? In retrospect, some questions turn out to be completely unimportant. In any case, it's an album that the narrow horizon of the classic Dubs moves a little further back.
Drew Keys himself is an accomplished and sought-after keyboardist and trombonist; he works with Shaggy, Arkaingelle, the Zion-I-Kings around Tippy Laurent, the Common Kings and many more on stage and in the studio. “A New Beginning” is his debut under his own label, recorded in his own studio and an important part of his musical legacy. He passed away on December 18, 2020.