Michael Rose

African Roots

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This isn't really so much a Michael Rose album as it is a Ryan Moore (aka Twilight Circus Dub Sound System) album. It's one more product of Moore's welcome expansion from homemade, one-man-band instrumental dub -- of which he remains the world's finest exponent -- into a more generalized roots reggae production outfit. African Dub is primarily the remixed version of African Roots, Michael Rose's equally welcome return to the old-school roots fold following his long wanderings in the wilderness of conscious dancehall. Moore's production style is pretty heavily dub-flavored to begin with, so none of these remixes will sound especially drastic or adventurous to those who are used to the dub sound. But newcomers to the genre may be taken aback by the echoed shreds of vocal, the bottomless bass, the appearing-then-disappearing guitars and keyboards, and the generally enormous sonic space that Moore creates so skillfully. Note in particular the effective way he completely deconstructs the track about halfway through "Dub Thunder," and the way he preserves just enough of Rose's eerily sad and beautiful vocal on "Dub Burial" to retain the flavor of the original version, while busily knocking down the walls around it. And don't miss the guest appearance by fellow dubmeister Manasseh, either. Brilliant.

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