Dubblestandart

Are You Experienced

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Many reggae albums are recorded in more than one studio -- but relatively few are recorded partly in Vienna and partly in Kingston, Jamaica. That strange dichotomy is par for the course for Dubblestandart, an Austrian band whose blend of downtempo electronica, atmospheric dub, and roots reggae reflects its slightly schizophrenic love of both modern European and old-school Jamaican music. After 16 years of both studio recordings and road work as a backup band for the likes of Dillinger, Top Cat, and Lee "Scratch" Perry, Dubblestandart return with their fourth release, a two-disc set consisting of one disc of new recordings featuring a variety of guest vocalists and a second disc of previously unreleased versions and remixes (along with three music videos). If Are You Experienced doesn't completely measure up to the high standard set by the band's previous release (Heavy Heavy Monster Dub), it makes up for the occasional eruptions of boredom with such stellar material as the dark and trippy "Message" (on which the band sounds remarkably like a Teutonic version of Dub Syndicate), the excellent Ari Up feature "Island Girl," and the dub version of "Heights of Paranoia," which handily redeems the original version's banal Rastafarian Luddism. The remix album is a similarly mixed bag, with disappointing contributions by Sly & Robbie and brilliant entries from Mad Professor, Sounds from the Ground, and the always reliable Keith LeBlanc. Overall, a very sound value for the money.

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