Music Review: Dubmonger – Experiments In Dub (2012, self-released)

Dubmonger, the new alias of Morphy, uses the mixing desk as grounds for live dub experimentation and delivers his debut EP continuing his distinctive ambient, downtempo dub style. The effect on the listener is medicinal…

Genre: Dub / Downtempo / Ambient-dub

Region: UK

Artists Website: http://www.dubmonger.com/

Dubmonger is the new alias of dub merchant Morphy which marks his move towards more traditional dub techniques of live mixing desk arrangements and dubbing. However, there are still plenty of distinguishable elements of the sound he has developed as Morphy.

‘Poolbeg St. Dub’ is one of the finest moments of Morphy and one of the best dub tracks out there. The track starts with a didge-tinged drone that implants an elemental, tribal vibe and reiterates in various moments throughout the track. Then he builds an ambient fabric of sounds packed with typical dub reverbs and delays with downtempo rhythmic patterns as an interlude to a the main verse of the song, which features a heavy, commanding subbass and a more intensive beat (which sounds like a minimal, slowed down version of a d’n’b beat). In a very organic way, Dubmonger features some roots percussions, relaxing piano tones and spiralic effects phasing in and out. Already from the first number, Dubmonger makes it clear that he continues his own way in the dub universe with his own distinctive sound.

‘Medicine Dub Parts 1 & 2’ begins with a echo-charged atmosphere to embark again on a typical downtempo riddim. This time more electro and cosmic-flavoured, it borrows some textures from the French dub style, especially during the second half of the song, but always in his own ‘flowing’ forms of music. There are some oldschool vibes apparent and some d’n’b elements that are tastefully repressed in the background. Dubmonger honours again his deep and multi-layered song arrangements.

‘Snail Dub’ goes in the same direction, finalising an already consistent output. With a more pronounced UK-style drum kick, a solid bassline and tones of psychedelic effects it brings the early work of acts like Alpha & Omega in mind albeit more stretched out with an emphasis on the ambient ends of dub.

Morphy delivers three original slow, relaxing almost medicinal dubs under his fresh Dubmonger banner. This EP is a re-discovery of traditional dub methods as means to experimentation with commitment to ambiance and detail. We recommend those who appreciate wholesome dub without easy tricks (call it dubstep) to check out Dubmonger’s debut EP.

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Discover more dub artists via Freegan Kolektiva:

MDC – Conception EP (2012, ODG Productions)

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

Dub Spencer & Trance Hill vs. Umberto Echo – Too big to fail (2012, Echo Beach)

Full Dub – Potentiodub EP  (2012, ODG Productions)

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