Following on the heels of this spring's "Intrusion/Reflection" double-pack, Intrusion (AKA Stephen Hitchell) steps out onto a new echospace [detroit] sub label with an absolute stunner. Displaying a slightly melodic bent and a palpable reggae influence not heard in much of what's being lumped into the dub scene these days, "Tswana Dub" creates a hazy mood that's perfect for late summer swinging. Riding a skeleton of keyboard stabs and a bass line straight outta Kingston, the track effortlessly drifts out of the speakers like a cloud of thick green smoke. Light but dense shimmering pads bounce off of each other and faded bits of percussion drift in and out of the mix to create an almost tangible atmosphere: dark, steamy, and built on a foundation as timeless and solid as the hills. This is music to dream to, to float on, to pray to.
Brendon Moeller's Beat Pharmacy Dub steps up the Jamaican influence even further, deploying ghost horns, organ stabs, and expertly phased and echoed percussion while upping the tempo slightly and adding a welcome bass kick over effects, including a nifty backwards rhythm track that adds to the otherworldly feel. More percussive and active than the original, Moeller's dub would make King Tubby proud. Hitchell's Phase90 moniker does the honors on the final version, submerging the whole formula in a vat of fizzing acid and playing back the half-dissolved track over the most uptempo beat yet and that rock-steady bass line; too tough to die, it survives the dunking and adapts to the quicker pace as if it always belonged there.
While dub techno may be an especially "trendy" style in 2008, "Tswana Dub" easily elevates itself over most everything else in the genre, with all three cuts representing the best the genre has on offer. Ignore the hype (and impending backlash) and embrace this as the very special record that it is.
Buy Intrusion - Tswana Dub at
Tracklist: Intrusion - Tswana DubA Tswana Dub
B1 Tswana Dub (Beat Pharmacy Dub)
B2 Tswana Dub (Phase90 Mix)