While operating under several guises -- House Rhythems, Jus Friends, Massive Sounds, Rydims, Dub Poets -- during the late '80s and early '90s, Bobby Konders was making house history with a number of low-budget but high-quality tracks that blended love for house, reggae, and a number of less obvious forms with a production style that emphasized the dark and the deep amidst a mushroom cloud of ganja smoke. Virtually every bassline is remarkably pungent to an almost oppressive extent, casting an overriding dark or melancholic tone throughout each track. This doesn't mean that everything's doom and gloom, because there are some genuinely beautiful moments scattered across this long overdue compilation. Just through the addition of a prominent whistling flute, the "Flute Mix" of Massive Sounds' "Expressions" turns a typically haunting track into something full of beauty. "Blak and Whit" is even more emotional, with synth textures that are just as affecting as anything created by the first two waves of Detroit techno producers. At the other end, the most wicked track of all is the paranoiac nightmare of House Rhythems' "Nervous Acid." Konders' lone contribution to the acid house phenomenon, the track remains one of the heaviest in its field, placing an catapulting bassline and a clamping beat below a flurry of synth effects that sound as if a helicopter is hovering above. "Let There Be House" is a rush-inducing cousin to Marshall Jefferson's "Move Your Body," boasting repeated exclamations of "Let there be house!" over a jittering rhythm, warped synths, and tickling piano vamps. Konders' appeal and influence stretch far and wide, and though he eventually made the complete conversion to reggae as a DJ and producer, his presence continues to loom over house music.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
feat: Robert Owens
feat: Dub Poets Dub