Burnt Friedman & the Nu Dub Players

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The German obsession with dub music is never-ending. From the ultra low-wave purity of Rhythm & Sound to the jazz-highlighted downtempo of the Compost label, the rich reverb adventure of the island groove permeates much of the country's broader dance music culture. With a long history of releases under many names, most notably with musical and cultural shape-shifter Atom Heart as Flanger, this release marks Friedman's first complete immersion into the dub sound. But while many of Friedman's peers craft their waves of bass exclusively from their machines, he assembled the Nu Dub Players, a group of accomplished musicians, to develop the tunes upon which he carefully lays his studio trickery. The difference can be best heard in the percussion, as drummer Bernie the Bolt gingerly snaps rim shots and snare taps on "The Big Black Other" as well as the title track. His loose-gripped attack provides a constantly changing snare pattern that assures that the steady bass patterns never lead to monotony. Friedman's own participation as producer and engineer is perfectly subtle, with the instrumentation never becoming lost in overbearing waves of effects. The result is rootsy dub that is aquatic and otherworldly, without ever losing its acoustic sound.

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