After his 2020 debut “Twin Souls Dub"The French multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer Zilla Dan surprises with an album that"Starlight Dub“(Self-published), but is actually more of a collection of atmospheric instrumentals that he recorded with the alto saxophonist Riwan Pruvot.
“I was pretty musical even as a small child and later wanted to have a career as a musician with my best friend. But after he tragically died in French Guiana, I started developing my own musical projects, ”explains Zilla Dan. “I met Riwan Pruvot in Bordeaux. He is a professional alto saxophonist, of French-Algerian descent. I suggested an album in the style of Bunny Lee & King Tubby Present Tommy McCook: Brass Rockers to produce. Riwan was delighted. I played drums, bass, piano and percussions and Riwan conjured up his saxophone melodies. Then I mixed the tracks on analog equipment because I wanted to reproduce the sound of King Tubby, Scientist and Prince Jammy - my heroes of the golden era of Jamaica Dubs. "
What may sound daunting to anyone with a preventive saxophone phobia (Kenny G and Dean Fraser send their regards), reveals itself here as a musical benefit that can rarely be experienced in reggae: a saxophone has been so soft, full and soulful since Branford Marsalis' work for Sting no longer to be heard. This is partly due to Privot's wonderful playing technique - but also to Dan's excellent recording technique and mixing of the instrument. Conclusion: The album rightly has it just before the end in one of the dubblog.de-Top 5 done: The rehabilitation of the saxophone, hurray!
The fact that Zilla Dan's production seems a bit awkward and reminiscent of early I-grade recordings doesn't detract from the whole thing - on the contrary, it adds to the charm of “Starlight Dub" at. The album concept also fits there - a not-too-extravagant musical journey through our solar system, which graphic artist Matteo Anselmo implemented in one of the most beautiful cover artworks of the last year. Throwing everything into the pan, the overall result is an acoustic and optical gem that can win over the listener from the first contact.
Text: gtk and René Wynands