Radio Rothko

Deadbeat

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Radio Rothko Review

by Andy Kellman

The number of commercially released dub techno mixes can be counted on one, er, finger. While Scion’s Arrange and Process Basic Channel Tracks (2002) used less than a dozen 12” singles as its source material, Montreal’s Deadbeat gleans from the banks of vinyl indebted to those subgenre-creating releases. Within a matter of a few minutes, Radio Rothko will aggravate those who demand variety, clever juxtapositions, and obvious peaks in DJ mixes. For those who can listen to minor variations on a style rooted in low-level bass throb, percussive FX, and atmospheres slathered in echo -- and care to know the difference between DeepChord, Echospace, and Echocord -- it will stun. Deadbeat does incorporate some earlier dub techno, scattering Basic Channel's radiant “Quadrant Dub I” (1994), Maurizio’s cushiony “M06A” (1996), and Various Artists' spaced-out “No. 3 [Debit]” (1997), but recent releases -- from labels like Modern Love, Meanwhile, and Echocord -- dominate the mix. The full program is a clinic in discerning intra-style selecting and superb sequencing, with the locomotive friction from tracks six through 11, beginning and ending with Deadbeat exclusives, nothing short of astonishing.

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