The Thugs: Holy Cobra Dub

Multi-instrumentalist Nicola Giunta is also a filmmaker, sound artist and composer of soundtracks for short films, commercials, documentaries, video art, silent films, dance performances and animation. He is also an internationally recognized visual artist whose Xerox artwork has served as record covers and posters for numerous fellow musicians. He is also the founder and mastermind of Lay Llamas, one of the most important bands of the so-called New Italian Occult Psychedelic, who have already released a considerable number of albums and several singles. The musical style of the Lay Llamas can be briefly described as an intelligent mixture of Hawkwind, the early Talking Heads and the repetitive style of German krautrock bands like CAN and NEU. Nicola Giunta's soft spot for krautrock is particularly evident in his collaboration with Damo Suzuki, the legendary CAN singer, who, with his unmistakable voice, made CAN pieces like "Spoon", "Vitamin C" and "Mother Sky" unique - at least for me has.

The numerous metamorphoses by Nicola Giunta now also include “The Thugs: Holy Cobra Dub(Love Boat Records).
The Thugs are Nicola Giunta and Edoardo Guariento, who is also the drummer for the Padua-based metal core band 3ND7R. The idea came up in the summer of 2021 when Nicola Giunta Edoardo Guariento uploaded some songs by Jah Shaka from the "Commandments Of Dub” series played. He was immediately so enthusiastic that he brought his drum kit to Giunta's home studio for the next session. The two recorded a few takes, where Giunta also acted as a kind of liveDubmaster improvised with a small mixer and a couple of echo and reverb pedals. After some of these sessions, Giunta selected the best takes and built the first two Thugs tracks from them, playing guitar, bass, organ and percussion himself. In the months that followed, Nicola Giunta kept developing new tracks, using various drum machines from the 70s and 80s to develop a more post-punk and psychedelic sound. But "Holy Cobra Dub“ didn’t become an indie album, but one influenced by reggae Dub-Album that still sounds like an indie album at the end of the day, albeit with Jamaican spices and ingredients. The spirit of Lee Perry, King Tubby and most notably Adrian Sherwood lingers throughout the project. ON .U Sound connoisseurs hear borrowings from Mark Stewart, African Head Charge, Audio Active, but also from the Suns of Arqa. Yes, "Holy Cobra Dub“ turns out to be excellent after just a few seconds Dub-Album.
The twelve tracks were recorded almost exclusively with vintage instruments and delve into the roots sound of the mid to late 70s. They have that expansive, profound attitude, that sense of constant invention that characterized the work of Lee Scratch Perry. At the same time the tracks have this psychedelic centrifugal force that is either explicit or more often hidden in the details. That reminds me more of the darkest post-punk of that time. The vocals were recorded with an old 70's audiometer. The overall design and layout was designed entirely by Nicola Giunta and aims to match the Jamaican look Dub- remember albums from that time.
Briefly on the concept: Thugs or Thuggees is an English loan word from Sanskrit and originally means "cheat" or "crook". But it is also the name of a historical brotherhood of religiously dressed murderers and muggers. Estimates of the number of their victims vary between 50.000 and over a million. The Brotherhood experienced its heyday in pre-colonial India. It was destroyed by the British colonial power at the beginning of the 19th century.
Nicola Giunta liked the idea of ​​this sect meeting in subterranean sanctuaries and performing mysterious rituals for their goddess Kali (goddess of death). Every song and track is about their activities in one way or another.
The Holy Cobra Dub’ appears with its familiar and at the same time unfamiliar music like a mysterious find from a time that can be dated between 1975 and 1982.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

"Holy Cobra Dub is truly immersive – a Great Leap Forward” – Mark Stewart (The Pop Group, Maffia, New Age Steppers, On-U Sound)

7 replies to “The Thugs: Holy Cobra Dub"

Well, that's officially researched - hats off! And as always, it's a pleasure to read your lines! Thank you very much! And ... I find the disc also remarkably bizarre and enjoyable to listen to for the reasons so beautifully described.

Thank you for the positive feedback, Rootsmessenger. I'm always happy when my reviews are well received and I can pass on my enthusiasm for an album to the readers.

Is correct !!!

Really a very instructive and interesting review!
The quote from Mark Stewart also goes down like the finest olive oil.
Although I would like to vehemently disagree with "a great leap forward". As you can also read in the review, this "great leap forward" for On .U Sound has been a matter of course since the beginning of time. In any case, I imagine that it can also be read between the lines in exactly the same way. It may be that I did that with a too strongly tinted DubLooking at glasses but for me there is nothing more progressive than On .U Sound. Yes, there were also experiments that were reminiscent of the old chemistry class, where the teacher was blown away by the experiment, but only because new experiments lead to really big leaps that take humanity and music further and to the highest raise level. (There are also experiments where it is clear from the outset that they will backfire. See ESC. The contest of bad taste and the stock exchange for all the incompetents who allow themselves to present something like this in public). (Sorry for mentioning this here at all, but somehow somewhere at some point it has to be said ). (That has nothing to do with taste anymore. They are simply incompetent! …………….. ah crap, I'm really offtopic again).
Ok, as I already wrote about the disc (!) in Radar, I like the music very much. Some basslines, especially the ones in the first half of the album, are a bit too ordinary for me, but that's made up for by the intensity DubAtmosphere quite well concealed - I think.
The Thugs, so the Thugs are assigned to the Indian culture. I keep noticing that the Indian influences in the DubMusic flourish very well and the genre Dub in a very pleasantly psychedelic way. Also take Bim Sherman with you
"Miracle" produced by Adrian Sherwood or On .U Sound. From who else?!? Oh yes, Suns Of Arqua are also very good at it, I think.

Ok, “Jamaica has no facts, only versions” ……………………………. lemmi

of Love Dub-Community
First a compliment to the reviewers and the background to this disc - the always lets you discover something new. Cool!
Regarding my concern or my suggestion: Wouldn't Jah Wobble be an issue again after a very long time? On the one hand neither «Dark Luminosity: The 21st Century Collection», on the other hand because of various other publications from more recent times? Already clear: It is not always Dub, as he is valued here, and not everything is beyond all doubt - but maybe that's why...?! For me, Jah Wobble is still one of THE low-pitched bass players.

What I've wanted to write for a long time. Many thanks for your incredibly great work, Ras Vorbei. What I always particularly like about your reviews are the connections and the unbelievable amount of additional information that you provide so easily off the top of your head. Another fantastic discovery that I probably never would have stumbled upon without your recommendation.

Really great, there is always something new to discover on the Dubblog. For the reasons so beautifully described above, I also find this strange sound remarkably bizarre and enjoyable to listen to.

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