May 1, 2003
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Soft Pink Truth
The Wind-Up Bird
April 30, 2003
Pale Horse and Rider
Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers
April 29, 2003
Set Fire to Flames
...swirling dub mists....are always spiritual...(in the rain the slow podder he wonders plodding) ; across from a beach a figure steps through a sinking tundra (could this be a scene from Sibir?) – but no it is Regret, who tonight wears the mask of death, unforgettably moving the fools across the hillock horizon ; Bergman & the Seal ; "the roots of 'dub' can be traced back to Jamaica in the late 1960s, where it is widely accepted that Osbourne Ruddock aka King Tubby pioneered the style" – Whitey on the Moon, you out watching this dub-tide?
Since Pole laid down 1 & 2 those long years ago of the Nineties there has been a significant interest in and then shift away from the dub influence in techno. It has been significantly misunderstood in many cities. Its ambience is felt perhaps only by a solid few. Where I used to live, in the Pacific Northwest city of Vancouver, dub music was a blend of the rain and bud. Bud is Dub backwards. Dub was the bedrock of the city. One looked across Jericho Beach to the city shrouded in perpetual drizzle and rain and time moved at the pace of swirling dub. And that this rain is the complete opposite of dub's origin—that of the hot sun of Jamaica—speaks of the connection dub music manifests to the vagaries of the cloud and sun and rain. Cloud-rains are not the opposite of sun but its covering. A protection from earth. And it is perhaps no surprise that the same music casts its sonic shadows through both moments of speculation where humanity verges consciousness with the temperates. And here in Montreal, in a different climate, the precursors began. Tim Hecker's epic haunt me haunt me do it again moved through a crystalline and frozen winter and its ambient textures that touched upon a hint of the dub, and Scott Montieth—aka Deadbeat—here he reaches deep into a Quebec landscape that carries its memories and burdens, cold and heat, the hot melt of summer Humidex, and the cold blast of the winter windchill, all of this is stirred into the slow rhythms of his post-dub music that culminates in the liquidity of temperature: rain. Weather-music: only one frame of a million to interpret movements of sounds.
Now Pole is of course Stefan Betke, owner of ~scape, and since his own crackly outings he has given the listening ears several releases that journey on tangents from the dub core. Experiments from Joshua Kit Clayton to Staeditizism. But now, with a return on all fronts—a retreat? The debate is still On—we move back to a root, to roots, in this case, to dub classic, but oh, oh, how different it sounds so many years later from Basic Channel, since 1990, since Maurizio. Is this a clean dub, you might ask? Perhaps. It is not a dirty dub record. It is a clean dub, almost sparse. At times it is swirling and deep, but as it sustains no ambient synth pads, it steers its course away from ambient-dub. Deadbeat situates himself more solidly in the dub-reggae tradition than in ambient—a current of the techno-dub tradition, between a certain dialogue, at its limit, on a historical tangent from Detroit to Berlin and that early '90s exchange of creativity and sound, Deadbeat is a passenger who has moved up to, at points, attempts at piloting the craft to its destination, which can be, if the dub is true, nothing less than Babylon.
It's here, but it's clean. In A Hard Day's Night, Paul's grandfather is a "clean old man." Is Deadbeat dub a clean old man, you might ask? Perhaps. But only if Paul's grandfather was Aleister Crowley, swinging by that thick black rope on the pendulum in the heart of Montreal, no longer hiding behind the mask of his sex magick but carving out the rimshots with Deadbeat's precision, with the slow mantra from track to track, the dance gems hidden as gifts to Akufen—deep at the heart, at the core—and the slow movements away, in tides and oceans, sonic particles... (& what I am saying is: you need to listen to this as an album).
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