Music Reviews



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Artist: Dubblestandart (@)
Title: Immigration Dub
Format: CD
Label: Collision (Cause of Chapter 3) (@)
I have to admit that I have never been a huge follower of dub. This is not because I have anything against the genre; there have just been too many other albums to buy. My main exposure to dub was seeing Twilight Circus open for the Legendary Pink Dots about 10 years ago and a Zion Train album that I somehow acquired. I’ve listened to a bit of ska here and there andlike everyone else in the worldI have Bob Marley’s "Legend" in my CD collection. All of that to say that this review comes from an outsider’s perspective.

If I wanted someone to like dub, I would give them this album to listen to. It’s a lot of fun (for example, how can you not like a song called "We All Have to Get High"?) and makes you move whether you wanted to or not. I suppose you have to keep it lighthearted; it’s hard to have street cred when you’re a dub band from Vienna. But they’ve been around since 1988, so they must be doing something right.

Here’s how they describe the album on their website: "An incredible fusion of hi-tech, vintage synthesizers and analog effect units, merged with solid dub beats, whilst experimenting with different styles that depart from the reggae norm." As for the music itself, for me the standout track was "Tiny Place Called Earth," which seamlessly integrates Rod Serling’s narration to a Twilight Zone episode ("The Invaders") into the music without sounding forced or cheesyin itself, an impressive feat. Other tracks of note include "When I Fall in Love," the incredibly catchy "This One Is About Flying," and the aforementioned "We All Have to Get High."

There are several covers on this album: "Wadada" (Dub Syndicate), "MPLA Dub" (Tappy Zukie), "Money Money" (Horace Andy), and "When I Fall In Love" (with the original Ken Booth vocals). You can check out some of their music at their myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/dubblestandart). This disc weighs in at 68 minutes and even features a video of "Island Girl," which mainly consists of a dancing dreadlocked young woman and island scenes.
Artist: Aemae
Title: Maw
Format: CD
Label: isounderscore (@)
Rated: *****
Aemae is the sound project of Brandon Nickell of Oakland, CA, USA. It lives in the aether world of buzzes, clicks and whirrs of the insect. Sounds flit in and out of our view as flies, mosquitoes and moths dive bomb our heads. It is obvious that the details of each sound has been lovingly painted with the glow of the electron. There has been attention paid to the results here and even though we may not be able to speak the language of the micro-world of the insect, we can still appreciate its beauty.
Artist: Dub Trio
Title: cool out and coexist
Format: CD
Label: ROIR (@)
Rated: *****
Recorded live on February 19 and 20, 2007 at Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY. Exhilarating mix of reggae and metal riffing, with some dubby-spacey atmospheres added to spice up the set. No vocals, just playing. I’ve been kind of bored with the rock/metal scene lately, but this marriage of seemingly uncooperative partners has rekindled my interest. Excellent!
Artist: R. Stevie Moore
Title: Disorganized Overactivity or Tabitha Soren
Format: CD
Label: Forty Seven Records
Rated: *****
What we have here boys and girls are 25 tracks (!) of variegated mutant rock/experimentalism by the over-indulgent (in a good way), over-achiever Moore. His web site claims over 400 releases in various styles and formats. Does the world really 400 releases from any one artist, no matter how good s/he is? The answer I guess lies in his fan base. But all this is not a comment of the quality of this release. This is a DIY release with all the sonic limitations that category implies. This guy can sing, play, and write songs well so who’s to complain? The subject matter is definitely not mainstream and there is strong vein of oft times wry crude humor, but regardless, the prankster humor is a strength of the songs (his piss take on Led Zeppelin’s cock-rock silliness on "Hi N Loathsome" is a hoot). The accepted forms all take a hit by Stevie. He just doesn’t care if it doesn’t fit into the corporate categories of what’s cool, what’s accepted, what’s selling. Listening to this causes time warped rebirthing experiences of all the music I’ve heard in last thirty years of my life, all of it pushed slightly off-center somehow. Moore doesn’t try to fit in and obviously doesn’t want to. If you’re that kind of person, or if you want something different to wipe out the cobwebs created by the repeated listenings of the same old crap we’ve heard for the last ten years or so search out these recordings. There will be something there for you to like. Kudos to RSM for sticking to his guns after all this time.

Artist: North-Without-End
Title: 1940,1944 lp
Format: CD
Label: Forty Seven Records
Rated: *****
Minimalist droning loops building layer after layer that slowly fill up every part of the frequency spectrum creating overtones that induce the desire to submit to the sound. Created in four parts, this is music for a quiet afternoon. Another free download from Forty-seven Records
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