One/Three, the first Dabrye release from Tadd Mullinix, is white funk lodged in a glacier. Clippity-clap-clack beats, inspired in part by Jay Dee, and deceptively melodic bonk-zaps form the groundwork of the set, a perfectly digestible LP at 10 tracks and 35 minutes that forms an ideal bridge between the abstract hip-hop of Mo' Wax and the shivery busted funk of early Kompakt. Unlike a common gaffe of the Mo' Wax stable, Dabrye gains inspiration -- rather than outright grave-robbing nostalgia -- from hip-hop production. You might hear a swift nod to something familiar, as in the latter half of the closing "Hot Mating Ritual," however there's little to conjure images of unlaced Adidas and furry hats. Remember That Beat this isn't; there's a lot more imagination at play. And since none of these fully realized tracks exceed four minutes, no slick beat or hidden melody outlasts its welcome. It's a short record not short on unpredictable ideas. "The Lish" would sound like a slow-motion Zapp remix if it weren't for woozy wafts of saxophone. At the onset, "So Scientific" sounds like it could shoot into 2-step and winds up wrenching out a Teutonic melody, flapjacking it on its back. The aforementioned "Hot Mating Ritual," like a handful of tracks scattered throughout, has a summery '80s R&B vibe, belying the innate stiff chill mentioned above -- the deep "ah-woo"s aren't to be missed either, just one example of the record's good humor. Lacking a dull moment, one hopes One/Three won't go the way of Urban Tribe's LP (the product of a flirtation between Detroit and Mo' Wax) as a sorely unrecognized gem.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman