DUB PEDAL ACTIVATE!!!!!
There is something both inspiring and kitschy about the melding of unexpected musical genres. Rockabilly, surfpunk, jazzcore, deathpolka…..it’s rather hard to smush two (or more) wildly different sounds together and have it flow seamlessly (unless if you’re Fishbone).
But Brooklyn’s own Dub Trio have been succeeding at such a feat since 2004. The group has taken instrumental heavy progressive riffage and the almighty dub, and is able to flip on a dime between the two genres without it seeming abrupt in the least. How do they do it, you ask? Well obviously exceptional musicianship, for starters. And the most interesting factor comes from the rhythmic shifts, which in and of themselves could be called unusual or daring, but the drastic style-flip always feels original, even when one might be expecting it.
And fear not, my br00tals…..over the years, the sound has evolved into something quite aggressive. At least until the dub pedal activates.
Vince and I went to go see Dub Trio last week at the Mercury Lounge in Jew Dork City, and the band was stellar as always. The guitarist exhibited extremely tight metallic riffage throughout, the bassist kept grooves solid as gold (and rocked a couple synths for all sorts of spacey goodness), and the drummer brought the whole thing to a new level of stone-cold choppery.
One of the most fascinating aural elements came not from any wild effects pedals or computerized machinery but rather from a completely organic idea, which gives me the fuzzies. The drummer had a mic at the ready that was running a hard delay through its signal, and he would use this during the dub parts to accent certain hits or part of his kit that needed to be, well, dubbed out. If he held the mic close to the snare the echo went on for daze, if the mic was placed near the hi hats it sounded like an army of eighth notes…..a simple idea taken to an amazing place by a very skilled drummer with a lot of technique, finesse, and creativity. Hooray!
Vince and I had a joke going that when the band was ready to switch from some heavy-ass jam into the dulcet, chill tones of a laid-back ethereal dub groove, all they had to do was step on a dub pedal, and the genre would flip on its own… Can you imagine if effects pedals existed for different genres, and all of a sudden any band’s style could completely flip into something totally different?
Yo, that’s some Matrix shit, yo…
(if any inventors wanna get down with such an idea, I’m happy to sit back and collect my 35% genius fee)
As individuals, the members of Dub Trio have played with hip-hopppers aplenty (such as Mos Def, The Fugees, 50 Cent), but a couple crowning achievements as a band include backing Mike Patton’s Peeping Tom project (the group collaborates with Patton on various tracks of their own as well, and releases albums under his Ipecac label) and opening for The (fucking) WHO at Madison Square Garden. Yup.
The band presently has no upcoming shows scheduled — sucks for you. If the opportunity arises, this unique musical journey is absolutely worth your ears.
Don’t shank on Dub Trio!!!