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Dub Trio [DP Holmes, Joe Tomino, Stu Brooks]

NEW HEAVY • Dub Trio

For the uninitiated, "Dub" is a form of music derived from reggae. After recording the tracks and vocals for the latest hit, reggae producers would go back in the studio and remix the instrumental tracks, adding delaying echoes and big reverbs to the instruments (no doubt after smoking immense "spliffs"), for a spacey effect. These heavily atmospheric tracks have greatly influenced many of the electronica, hip-hop, and remix artists of today.

Apparently they also influenced Dave Holmes, Stu Brooks, and Joe Tomino, three guys from Brooklyn, who started incorporating these effects into their live shows. Their first record, Exploring The Dangers Of, was recorded at a gig, where guitarist Holmes ran his guitar and some drum mics through many of the same type devices used in the studio by dub legends such as Lee "Scratch" Perry. All of this would be merely a gimmick but for the band's incredible sense of groove and Holmes' impeccable taste in his use of said effects.

A similar artistry imbues their first studio effort, New Heavy. What's new is that in between the first and second recordings the band has been listening to a fair amount of heavy rock, which finds its way into tunes like "Jack Bauer," and "Screaming At The Sea," as well as the one vocal selection, "Not Alone," featuring Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton. Mixing the excitable energy of Metal, Prog, and Math rock with the laid-back super-cool of Dub reggae seems, on the surface, to be an impossible task. It is here that the sense of dynamics, balance, and sure feel for tension and release that the group exhibited on their debut comes to the rescue. In "Cool Out and Coexist" they somehow make Tomino's thundering double bass drum fills, and Holmes' angular, massively distorted guitar meld smoothly into echo-y, ambient dub sections, as if these sounds were meant to be married--cool out and coexist indeed.

New Heavy was recorded in a studio, but it is not Pro Tools trickery that makes it viable. At a recent live gig at BB Kings in New York, the boys proved that in the right hands the mix of these seemingly disparate elements could make complete sense together. Modern life is rarely all "mosh" or all "chill" and Dub Trio's New Heavy makes a great soundtrack for its rapid-fire ups and downs. • Michael Ross

Dub Trio listen to clips
return to covers
buy it here or here
rior-usa.com (label)
interview in Splendid
"dub music" at wikipedia
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