This is an album from the outskirts of Dub. Adjacent regions include beatless ambient music and a subgenre with the lovely name of doom jazz. Kevin Richard Martin is somewhat at home in all of these areas, making music and producing there and beyond in various contexts (including Techno Animal, Zonal, King Midas Sound, G36). He is involved in sound system culture primarily under the name The Bug. But just like his American cousin Bill Laswell, it doesn't matter what he tackles within his wide range of interests (including drone, post metal, dancehall): it is inevitably permeated by the experience of the Dub, which was first conveyed to the Brexilant, who now lives in Brussels, personally by Jah Shaka and the Disciples. His output has now grown into an entire network of development strands and collaborations, the complete presentation of which would require an organizational chart in DIN A1 format. In “Black” (Intercranial) various of his interests come together on a 76 minute long album, which will hopefully one day also be available in vinyl form. The hypothetical A-side would then probably contain two numbers loosely labeled “Ambient Dub without drums”. The melancholic arrangements evoke the Berliners' slowest moments Dub-Schmiede Rhythm & Sound, the enigmatic UK producer Burial but also the Münster snail-tempo band Bohren and the Club of Gore. Especially since Martin uses a double bass for grounding in the low frequency range. The individual sound events are placed so sparingly that each one trembles with tension. Additional suspense is created, especially in the 14-minute title track, by the relatively complex chord progressions for Martin's standards. This has its origins in the concept of the album, which is entirely dedicated to Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011. The music is, in a sense, composed around the empty space left by the singer. Interestingly, the distance to their actual band sound, which we associate primarily with the lush retro soul of Mark Ronson and the New York Dap Kings, could hardly be greater. Amy's "spirit" lives more in the bass notes and the chords wafting over them, in which the shape of her songs emerges without ever fully revealing themselves. Martin captures the essence of her music slowly. Like a painter who broadens a detailed detail of an oil painting with one stroke of the brush, Martin here stretches harmony, rhythm and melody into a broad band of swaying traces in which a very unique beauty is revealed. The result is slo-mo soul music that is second to none. Only in the fourth track “Love You Much, Love Too Much” does a drum beat sound after all this minimalistic hypnotic pulsation, which of course also indulges in slowness at 50 bpm. The tone is also set by more powerfully applied synthesizer colors and, if I'm not mistaken, by Martin himself on his “first” instrument, the saxophone. This would roughly define the sound parameters between which “Black” moves. Like many of the EPs and albums that Martin has released, especially since the Covid era, it initially sounds like introspective music for those slowed down moments at home. Individual parts – as a warmup, intro, outro or in the middle (suggestion: “Camden Crawling”) certainly work in the club, and are designed for exactly that. Kevin Martin is a sound fetishist, and nowhere does his obsession with frequencies, vibrations and full-body bass massage unfold for us consumers more clearly than on a capable sound system.