Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Culture System Reviews Carib - Deep Bass Exploration..
‘Sub-soca’ is certainly a fitting title for the majority of Marcus Visionary’s Carib, a crazy long double LP full of carnival hype that often shifts into overdrive jump-tempos. But it sounds like soca enjoyed through salvaged radio waves discovered by a distant space ship partying as it drifts helplessly in wait for their enemy’s final blow. The speed of the album also hints as much at Visionary’s drum n bass background as it references soca. And like many of the dubstep producers with visible roots in the dnb scene, homie populates the album with dark sci fi aesthetics, albeit tempered with Caribbean, dub, and house influences. This massive release also jumps far into most reaches currently being explored in deep bass, covering the range of future roots to dubstep and tropical tech-house to UK funky. Most of the tracks are rather simple, never introducing anything new beyond the two minute mark, but there’s something in the basis of nearly every track to enjoy.
The Jahdan remixes, the reggae cuts like ‘Nightfall’, and even the rapid paced, destructive wobblings of “In The VIP” are all tuff. The album wouldn’t be what it is without them and the diversity they lend it. But it’s the heavily syncopated, techy tropical stuff and grimey UK Funky that really make this album special. That sub-soca if we’re gonna keep with that. Of them, the ghosts of useless sirens that haunt the ‘London’ soundscape makes it nearly the most gripping. But the identifiably Caribbean track, ‘Pepper Pot,’ is the standout track of them all. Made up of almost entirely percussive elements, the track plows through a diverse array of drums, flips numerous polyrhythms and switches up the main beat over and over again.
You might’ve already heard a lot of this album, since 10 of its 27 songs were already released on two EP’s bearing the Carib title. Listening to these previous releases would mosdef have helped to digest the full length. Although the songs cover a range of styles, and often push into new realms, many sound very similar to each other. When listening, you can tell Visionary was thinking about offering deejays a choice within each style pushed here. “This LP is a collection of dubs compiled and made for DJs with the clubs in mind,” he said in the release notes. This probably also accounts for the brevity of composition in most of the songs, since they’re expected to be blended with other joints.
It drops on NYC-based LionDub International on May 2nd. Read up on label founder Liondub in this Knowledge Magazine Q&A.
Jahdan Blakkamoore — “The General (Marcus Visionary RMX)”