Wednesday 9 April 2014

Review: Dubcon – 'UFO Pon Di Gullyside'

'UFO Pon Di Gullyside'

What happens when world renowned industrial legend cEvin Key (Skinny Puppy) collaborates with world renowned dub producer Ryan Moore (Legendary Pink Dots)? The answer is one of the strangest dub albums ever made. Killing Joke have already proved this year that a full three-disc remix album of dub meets new wave/industrial is a damn fine thing in itself. But Dubcon is a brand new entity, constructed from the ground up (or perhaps more fittingly from the mothership down) by Key and Moore for twelve original cuts.

From the artwork to the song titles, the album is obsessed with outerspace and UFOs. While in terms of sound, it could be visually summed up by the illustrations of weed-smoking grey aliens proclaiming “Take me to your dealer” that were popular in the late 90s. Bizarre when written on paper... but it works.

The duo blend dub “riddim” with plenty of echo and reverb to get that traditional, somewhat trippy atmosphere and throw elements of industrial, sythpop, techno, dubstep, ambient and trip-hop in to the mix. It is primarily instrumental in it's construction with occasional flourishes of reverb and delay-heavy vocal samples on tracks like 'Outerspace', 'Zion Cluster' and 'Moment In Space'.

'UFO Pon Di Gullyside' is a genuinely original and interesting album that seemlesly blends the skills of both Key and Moore into something that should appeal to both of their fanbases. It feels experimental and fresh but at the same time those dub beats and bass lines keep its feet firmly on the ground and in the dance-floors With songs like 'Outerspace', 'First Contact', 'Zion Cluster', 'UFO Pon Di Gullyside (Destination Dub)' and 'Gone Orbital' in particular standing out.

This may not be everybody's cup of tea, and if you are in no way into dub or reggae then you'd best steer clear of this altogether. However, if you've always liked a good dub remix, then you should definitely take the plunge into this sci-fi dub album. Hopefully this won't be a one-off deal and Key and Moore still have more to give as Dubcon.

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