Dub Trio: Exploring the Dangers Of (2004)
Dub is minimalist by definition: Reggae music deconstructed then rebuilt in deep echo and reverb (and, one suspects, plenty of thick, gummy smoke) to emphasize the hypnotic power of its repeating, resounding bass and drum.
Dub is almost always a creature of the studio by definition too. But Exploring the Dangers Of dub is played and recorded in mostly real-time by DP Holmes (guitar/keyboards/dubs), Stu Brooks (bass/keyboards/dubs), and Joe Tomino (drums/percussion/melodica/dubs) with minimal overdubs (mostly melodica, for the classic sunny reggae sound).
A few other flavors subtly come through: "Casting Out the Nines" moves on a pulse much closer to electro- or techno-pop than the classic chicka-chick reggae rhythm, and "Real Wicked Ways" opens in a crashing, burning industrial music frenzy before nestling into its somnambulant dub. Holmes seems to have immersed himself in the Andy Summers school of reggae guitar, adorning tracks with oddly-shaped figures and flourishes ("Sick Im Kid").
I know that dub is by definition minimalist. But, unless I'm missing something, it just doesn't sound like there's much of anything going on here beyond the deep rhythmic undertow. The last three tracks, recorded from the stage at a NYC club performance, step a bit more lively, ripping open the "Awakening Dub;" a harsh, sinister revisiting that terrorizes "Sick Im;" and dancing with the inscrutably and humorously titled "Fur Boots on the Party Moose" in between.
Track Listing: Drive By Dub; Casting Out the Nines; Scoop and Smash Em; Sick Im Kid; Real Wicked Ways; Awakening Dub (live); Fur Boots on the Party Moose (live); Sick Im (live)
Personnel: Stu Brooks (bass, keyboards, dubs), DP Holmes (guitar, keyboards, dubs), Joe Tomino (drums, percussion, keyboards, dubs)