Culture / Scientist

Scientist Dubs Culture into a Parallel Universe

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The dub version of Culture's 2000 vocal album Payday, Scientist Dubs Culture into a Parallel Universe deserves the revised billing of the title: This is Scientist's album all the way. Culture's original recordings are sliced and diced into entirely new configurations, with only the barest traces of the original melodies and Joseph Hill's commanding vocals remaining. Retitled with imagery drawn from the golden age of science fiction, the songs also revisit the golden age of dub. Unlike the over-processed, electronic style of most modern dub, Scientist is kicking it old-school here: Echo chambers, reverb, hand percussion, horns, even bits of Augustus Pablo-style melodica and Lee "Scratch" Perry-trademarked sound effects float by on booming roots-style rhythms powered by Phanso's hyperkinetic drums and Glen Browne's deep-toned, rich bass. The resulting dubs sound simultaneously ultra-modern and reverentially roots-oriented. A uniformly powerful and mellow dub set, Scientist Dubs Culture into a Parallel Universe proves that proper roots dub still survives in an age when gimmickry and novelty rule.

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