Various Artists

Far Away in Time, Vol. 2

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Far Away in Time, Vol. 2 is one of many compilations put out by the outstanding German dub label Echo Beach. Considering that the label is named after the new wave hit by Martha & the Muffins, it's no surprise that Martha Johnson turns up to cover that track with Reverend Echo. Together, they weave fuzzy vocals and electronics into a sea of burbly electro-dub. The song also establishes a theme for the rest of the compilation. Like the leadoff number, each track that follows basks in heavy production, marinating itself under ragga-fied effects and occasional gasps of vocals. Watershell's "Deep Field View" best exemplifies the vocal manipulation that takes place on many tracks. Kaly's "Batuka Dub" is one of few songs on the record that contain any brass. The inclusion of trumpet and a rather funky guitar certainly makes the track stand out as the most inventive number on the disc. Not every tune drenches itself in watery synthetics, though. LXR's "Human Being Humans" features Last Poet Omar ben Hassan in a very organic mix of tribal beats and spoken poetry. Though many of Far Away in Time, Vol. 2's tracks sound similar to one another, they're fortunately all quite good. With a wealth of remixes and older, '90s era-cuts in the mix, Far Away in Time, Vol. 2 is a great primer for the revivified electro-based dub set.

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