The Tassilli Players

An Atlas of World Dub

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Like their labelmates Zion Train, the Tassilli Players are a loosely configured collective of reggae musicians who all seem possessed by both an experimental, cross-cultural spirit and an unquenchable thirst for rootswise dub grooves. An Atlas of World Dub is a collection of instrumental compositions, each of them named after a country in which the band has played and intended as a sonic documentation of the "strong roots I-bration" the group received in that place. The album's most abstract track is also its first, and the only one named after its home base, the United Kingdom (there is a track named for Wales, which the band, like some Welshmen, seems to regard as separate from the U.K.). On the more rhythmically compelling tip are "Germany," with its sturdily rocking steppers rhythm; "Finland," an ironically warm piece of minimalist dub (given its chilly namesake); and "Czech Republic," which takes a swinging ska beat and layers it heavily with blankets of echo and reverb to very nice effect. The track named for the United States is an edgy, jittery piece of rockers dub that imparts a sort of Kingston-meets-Manhattan mood. Very nice.

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