Twilight Circus

In Dub, Vol. 1

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On his debut as a solo artist, former Legendary Pink Dot Ryan Moore telegraphed his intentions clearly: having studied the art form since his teens, he was going to single-handedly recreate the sound and feel of classic 1970s dub reggae. Before he could do so, he had to master not only numerous instruments, but also the studio itself; dub is, above all, a producer's art, and the techniques involved in turning instrumental tracks into dub require a fair level of virtuosity. The sound he achieves on his first album is derivative, of course, but in a good way; on "Dub Frequency" he weaves a dark, minimalist groove above a vintage one-drop rhythm, while "Rocking Dub" marches along to an Augustus Pablo-influenced rockers beat. "Sir Dub" is a triumph of drum sound, on which Moore combines an enormous acoustic with judicious slapback echo to create a multilayered effect. But best of all are his basslines, most of which rival Bill Laswell's for pure melodic sweetness. His later albums would get more adventurous, but for fans of the old school, this one will be a delight.

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