“The first dub albums we listened to were records mixed by Scientist. Laura Lee learned to play bass by listening to Scientist Wins the World Cup. To be able to work alongside Scientist, a legend in the history of dub, is an honor. This is our dub version of Con Todo El Mundo.” - Khruangbin
Texan psych-funk trio Khruangbin hits back with the companion dub album to 2018’s Con Todo El Mundo. Hasta El Cielo renders the already spliff-tuned material from Con Todo into an even headier and more chill brew, taking a cue from the beloved dub version LPs that occupy a good chunk of their own record collections (Laura Lee and Mark Speer treated us to 90 min of rub-a-dub and dubby disco killers at their Lab in-store last year, check it out here). "For us, dub has always felt like a prayer. Spacious, meditative, able to transport the listener to another realm.” After listening to Con Todo a hundred times, we couldn't conceive these tracks being distilled down to their essence any further, but drop the needle on side 1 track 1 “With All The World,” an immaculate dubwise analogy to “Como Me Quieres” that accentuates LL’s bassline and Donald ‘DJ’ Johnson’s kick drum. Speer’s guitar is scrubbed almost entirely, save for spectral flourishes cut in and out to resemble something else entirely, and when that spring reverb catches fire on the flying cymbals about 2 minutes in, it’s like you’re sat zooted in Tubby’s Waterhouse back room circa 1975. This is the tack taken for the duration of the session, and we love it. The cloaked top end and punched-up rhythm sections of “Mary Always” (the “Maria Tambien” dub) and “Hasta El Cielo” (“Friday Morning”) take on different forms entirely, revealing hidden flavors and influences soaked deep in the original tapes. The waterlogged “Four Of Five” pulls out a dozen layers of percussion and an organ that you didn’t know was there (...was it there?). On the bonus 7-inch you’ll find two additional dubs by the one and only Scientist, King Tubby’s protege who single-handedly pioneered the version LP format and is responsible for some of the greatest dub albums of all time. His versions of “Rules” and “Como Te Quiero” are colorful and creative, eschewing the subtractive nature of his classic-era work in favor of a colorful maximalist style imbued with a confidence that only 40 years of mixdown murderation can provide. This is the standard black vinyl edition; recommended.
- black vinyl pressing
- bonus 7-inch includes two Scientist dubs
- music label: Dead Oceans 2019
reviewed by Isosceles Kramer 06/2019