Alpha & Omega

Dub Philosophy

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The fourth U.S. album (and who knows which one overall) by prolific dub-meisters Alpha & Omega is their finest. Dub Philosophy is heavy on mood, smoky groove, and loopy textures. While it's true that the duo has begun using digital effects in their dub mixes, they are far from what is known as a digital dub act. The long, painstakingly handled tape splices are readily apparent and the slippery analog bass (guitar, not synth) is lovingly tracked to deadly effect. On "Nothing but the Truth," space becomes bass and it's truly the place for mental, physical, and spiritual meltdown. The spine becomes a pool of jelly in the slippery ooze of skittering drums and droned-out E-notes plucked to stultifying perfection, as space and time begin to seemingly alter themselves. Later, when the echoplex effects kick in in earnest, as they do on "Dubconscious" and "Defeating the Giant," one would swear King Tubby was at the board, cross-fading rhythms and chunky, backtracked guitars into the melodica and tom toms. Make no mistake -- though Alpha & Omega slap out albums in five different countries as regularly as some of us go to the record shop, their quality is unchanging, their momentum unstoppable, and their reputation is unchallenged. For all of those who believe that real dub is dead in the digital era, Alpha & Omega are the medicine to cure that delusion. This is a mighty dark and nasty dread.

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