Third Ear Audio

Third Ear Audio

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    7
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Third Ear Audio is the duo of Nick Barber and Celli Firmi, whose work fits seamlessly into the rest of the Dubmission label's catalog. It's not that their sound is generic or unexceptional, just that it fits: it's a dark but friendly amalgam of dub, house, glitch, and techno grooves that never challenges the ear overtly, but does provide the occasional surprise. For example, "Freak of Nature" is built solidly on a slightly weird but generally familiar foundation of dubwise reggae, but then incorporates acoustic guitar sounds so radically chopped and screwed that they end up serving more of a rhythmic than a melodic function (and barely even a rhythmic one). "Ethereality" blends flute, tabla, and dark glitch-laden funk into a sound collage whose familiar features end up combining into something quite unique. Things are a bit more run of the mill on standard-issue electro-dub fare like "Up in Smoke," the darkly pretty space-funk of "Just a Moment," and the (frankly rather ho-hum) house excursions "Deep Blue" and "The Sleeping Giant." But there's not a single unpleasant moment on this album, and there are more than enough surprisingly brilliant ones to make it solidly recommendable to all adventurous dubheads.

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