Systemwide

Osmani Stepper E.P.

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The only bad thing about this exquisite chunk of experimental dub is its brevity; the three mixes of the title track (two by labelmates Alpha & Omega) and three new compositions go by all too quickly, leaving a blissful memory of haunting, bone-deep base lines, slightly disturbing tape manipulations, and juddering one-drop drums. "Osmani Stepper" is a great tune, drawing inspiration, as you might expect, from various Islamic and North African sources in its samples and keyboard parts; Alpha & Omega do a good job of hijacking those elements for more specifically reggaefied purposes in both conventional and dub remixes. But the deeply dread "Ripe Up" is perhaps even better, with its pervasive dub atmosphere, huge acoustic, and brain-shaking bass, while the hyperkinetic "Contrapositive (Rootsmand Dub)" is only slightly less captivating. This disc should be considered an absolute must for anyone who follows the On-U Sound release schedule or enjoyed the two Macro Dub Infection compilations.

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