(This text has been machine translated.) I'm slowly running out of words of praise. I've already written my fingers sore about the works of International Observer - behind which the lead singer of the historic Thompson Twins, Tom Bailey, hides. I love his relaxed Dubs beyond measure. What fascinates me most is that on the one hand they are incredibly relaxed, but on the other hand they are extremely exciting. It's a crazy paradox. Who knows reggae and Dub from New Zealand, can guess what I mean by that: Perfectly timed rhythms full of groove and inner tension, presented in slow motion. Fascinating. Tom Bailey also knows his trade. His tracks are superbly produced: crisp, dynamic, full-sounding. And then there is the ingenious arrangement, the fantastic bass lines and the wonderful, colorful, shimmering melodies. Everything from the mix interwoven into a large, comprehensive, multi-layered euphony.
There is actually no category or the dubs by Tom Bailey. It is undoubtedly one hundred percent reggae-dub technical perfection, which at the same time has completely emancipated itself from reggae. Crazy, right? Tom has created a completely independent dub-style that admittedly makes use of the reggae aesthetic, but otherwise leaves genre conventions behind. No “Yeah” exclamations, no sirens, no steppers, no historical basslines or brass sections - observer Dubs are utterly themselves, without quotes and superficial references. That's why I can't even imagine his music at a sound system event, even with the best of intentions. Unthinkable! But it would be perfect for a New Zealand pop open air festival.
The meticulousness of the productions also explains why the Observer only sporadically releases new EPs (let alone complete albums). Here quality comes before quantity. "Bat“ (Dubmission) is his latest work. After “Mink” and “Pangolin” it is the third EP in the “animal series” - and this is of course as excellent as all other works of this extraordinary dub-protagonist.