Dub Narcotic Sound System

Rhythm Record, Vol. 1: Echoes from the Scene Control Room

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Dub Narcotic Sound System leader and K Records founder Calvin Johnson has stated that Dub Narcotic Sound System is, on at least one level, a band whose records could be played at parties by musicians who didn't want to listen to their own music anymore. Rhythm Record, Vol. 1: Echos From the Scene Control Room is the epitome of that facet of DNSS' sound. Unlike the more indie rock-based (but still dubby funky) Boot Party, on most of which's tracks Johnson sang in his foggy baritone, Rhythm Record is straight-up house-band, house-party limber funk instrumentals. This version of DNSS includes, though, Boot Party-era members Larry Butler, Tod Ranslow, and Brian Weber, among others. The cuts aren't given many dubbed-out effects; rather, these songs seem designed to be the source from which other producers can pull beats, basslines, and other groove elements. It seems as likely a candidate for that sort of plundering as any record in the bin, but where Rhythm Record truly succeeds is a mood-inducing aural wallpaper that eventually seeps into the conscious part of the listening brain, enough to make one want to move their behind. Featuring ten rubbery tunes that range from spacey to sweaty, Rhythm Record is a tribute to the Stax-era house band and the ability of D.I.Y. rockers to stretch out of the stale musical mold into which they're often cast. The personnel appearing here represent a who's who of the K Records musical community, with multiple folks taking turns working it out on drums, bass, bongos, guitar, trumpet, organ, and melodica. They all end up, in Rhythm Record's funky sauce, making the party sound that much more fun.