Music Review: Rodja – Immanence (2012, mime netlabel)

‘Immanence’ expands the ambient fields of dub by recovering life’s unseen substrata in landscapes that seem barren at first sight.

Rodja Immanence

Genre: Ambient / Dub / IDM

Country: Italy

Artists Website:  Soundcloud

Label:  mime

Rodja, a dub producer from Matera (South Italy), comes to explicitly explore the commons between minimal dub, ambient music and IDM. All the aforementioned genres have the capacity to mimic natural processes and phenomena and this is a unifying thread in ‘Immanence’. Although dark-coloured, Rodja exposes the hidden life in the desert storms on lunar landscapes, or endless nights on Earth’s poles and bottomless oceans. One can possibly elicit that life is immanent and, though it might be unseen by bare eyes, it can be felt by pulsating subbass that vibrates out of the abyss and back.

‘Immanence’ is soaked in a heavy, lasting atmosphere of storms and the buzzing of the night before unfolding the march of a circular beat. Nevertheless, the ambience is too heavy, permeating the song from start to finish and bringing a lo-fi appeal. The balance between dub and ambient music is maintained though and there are hints of orientalism lurking in the background. The result is a slow-paced, heavy bass-driven, dub ambient number that reminds a bit of fellow countrymen Jambassa (Irpinia, South Italy), especially their ‘Shining Dub’ as heard in 2008’s Italian Dub Community Showcase Vol. 1, albeit darker, bleaker and more abstract. Isolation and camouflage are apparently common denominators for both Jambassa and Rodja.

‘Nomadism’ continues in the same direction, slow with pronounced floating dub strokes. Nomadism has been an innate trait of humanity’ people have been constantly transgressing boundaries whether forced by necessity or driven by passion for exploration. Nonetheless, nomadism is intricate in the fate of countless peoples in the present and as our environment rapidly degrades it is expected to intensify in the future. Nomadism is also remixed by Menion, born Stefano Ferrari from Sardinia island. It is actually there in the forlorn territory of Lake Omodeo in central Sardinia, where ‘Immance’ was conceived, after discovering the traces of silent vitality – we just need to be attentive.

Menion’s take is very competent, suppressing the layers of ambient noise to bring the dub nature of the song more vividly on the surface, but also embarking on an IDM experimentation that could facilitate dancefloor focusing and meditation.

Rodja’s music is underground and experimental, expanding the ambient fields of dub music. It is atmospheric, psychedelic and informative at once – it brings pieces of knowledge that are surrounding us, but we never paid attention to them. Rodja’s music is kindly brought to us by mime netlabel and can be downloaded for free.

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Explore more ambient dub via Freegan Kolektiva:

Morphy – The Three Wise Dubs EP (2011, charity giveaway self-release)

Discover more dub artists here:

Shanti D & Mayd Hubb – Politik 7″ (2012, Dubatriation Records)

Full Dub – Potentiodub EP  (2012, ODG Productions)

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