Celebrating the creative relationship of L.A.'s roster of bedroom symphony composers, Dublab Presents: Freeways is the first in a series of compilations that introduce future stars of L.A.'s underground electronic and hip-hop scenes, provide another look at more established names, and document an increasingly ambitious music scene. Dublab.com, the brainchild of a small cadre of L.A. DJs and a leading name in Internet radio broadcasting, has already seen considerable growth, with a who's who list of artists already taking turns performing live sets and furthering their stated creed to "spread innovative music across the globe." To that end, Dublab has collected a cosmopolitan stable of homegrown and transplanted talent, from the tapping percussion and organic keyboard mixed with quieting guitar of the Buenos Aires-born Languis & Fer Chloca to the evolving beats and sliding grooves of Iran's Mannequin Lung. Further adding contrast, Mia Doi Todd's smooth hypnotic croon is laid over staggering beats for an altogether mesmerizing effect in "Digital, Version 2.1," with the creaky percussion and symphonic flourishes of Daedelus' "A Mashnote" creating similarly trance-inducing moods. Singer/songwriter Damon Aaron injects R&B vocals into his mix of forewarning acoustic guitar and cello, contrasted beautifully with world-class percussionist Adam Rudolph and his intricate mbira performance. Multi-genre, multicultural, and brimming with multifaceted sounds, the set accomplishes its goal of presenting modern world music with no boundaries.
AllMusic Review by Matt Fink