See "dub" on the style line of a review on RA, and your mind probably floats to icy, abstract soundscapes a la Echospace or the sweaty minimalism of Rhythm & Sound. But "dub techno" as we tend to think of it isn't quite Strategy's game: the man born Paul Dickow, a Portland-based veteran of labels like Kranky, Community Library and most recently 100% Silk, comes at dub after time spent in more dance-friendly climes, and maybe this is why he sees in it the chance to produce sonic oddities that don't quite fit that mold. In fact, there's really no techno to be found in his latest, Dub In My System, for small-press 7-inch label ZamZam: a purely Jamaican instrumental curio encased in a gorgeous hand-screened sleeve, it flows forth from Strategy's own personal Black Ark.
In fact, if there's any complaint to be leveled at "Dub In My System," it's that Strategy is basically remaking digi-dub in a different decade and on another continent. But you really can't find fault Dickow's production: his bass is squishy, his delay-drenched chords flail out at all the right moments, and he's got the proportions pretty much perfect. The "Hardware Dub" steps a bit more forcefully and employs chillier sound design, with thoroughly analog zaps and wonderfully wobbly keys.
Tracklist: Strategy - Dub In My System A Dub In My System
B Hardware Dub