Teledubgnosis made a powerful debut with this ultimately unclassifiable album, one that combines the structural philosophy of experimental dub with funk, trip-hop, and electro influences. While dub is clearly a foundational element here, it's really more of a point of departure than a defining sonic envelope. Notice, for example, the way the dub version of "In Heaven a Devil" alternates (rather thrillingly) between a manic, lurching reggaeton groove and a gargantuan rockers beat before settling into the former and giving it to you in tastefully administered doses with echoey black holes in between. Or the way "Heading West" mines static for its rhythmic potential, building a chugging groove that tucks its chin down and marches forward stoically through a hail of glitchy beats. Of several tracks that incorporate Middle Eastern sonorities (the influence of producer Scotty Hard is detectable here), "Operations Manual" is the most successful, because it's the darkest and most insinuating, with its barely audible whispers and its gathering cloud layers of background echo and static. Less effective is "80 Heads (Dub and Bass Mix)," which has all the right ingredients but sifts them together a bit clumsily, ultimately sounding more like a sketch in a rough mix than a carefully considered final product. Overall, though, this album is a brilliant debut from a highly promising trio.
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