The once Athens based Dub Reggae band hasn’t created or released a studio recording since 2009′s NonViolent and they relinquished their heavy touring schedule in 2010. But they have been developing new music all the while, focusing on the home studio and the laptop primarily, digging deeper into new sonic territory though geographically spread across the country. The band will be officially releasing These Days for sale on February 14, 2012.
Athens/Atlanta/Asheville/Oakland-based psychedelic reggae outfit DubConscious’ latest EP These Days finds the band stretching their legs sonically and showing real prowess in the studio. While still rooted in their tried-and-true dub sound, the ensemble has really embraced the idea of forwarding the Riddim by including various influences; from Alpha’s afrocuban dubtech trance-out (is that a thing? I think they just invented it), to the dreamy psychedelia of Home 1 and the pure rootsy goodness of title track These Days. Recorded at Dreamlab Studios in Athens and Piper Street Sound in Atlanta, and featuring several contributions from guitarist James Keene and bassist/engineer Matt Mansfield, the group has largely forgone vocal content this time around, though what’s there is Adrian Zelski’s perennial politico-conscious eloquence. Instead they focused on powerful arrangement, opening up and exploring the material through electronic manipulation, applying f/x, and solo home-recording sessions. The result is a lush, moody, decidedly electronic feeling album that, while preserving its roots in Dub, doesn’t shy from forays into soundscape territory. There is pointed, tasteful use of some intriguing samples, and the occasional swerve into full-on IDM. Upcoming multi-volume companion remix release These Dubs will feature further dubnificence and reworking from various wizards such as IMMUZIKATION, Dub Is A Weapon, Knowsis, t8trtot, and is to be eagerly expected.
Tracks to look out for: While they’re all pretty strong, Burning Sage, better than any other track, rides that edge between Dub and Electronic, between Roots and Psychedelia. Like all brilliant instrumental music, it paints so specific a scene that it conveys an unmistakable emotional response imparted by the auteur. That’s the kind of music that makes your hair stand up.
- Russ Bledsoe