Inventive, and - above all - good fun...
'Good Star Dubs'

‘Good Star Dubs’ is the proof that some things are definitely worth waiting for. MM Studio is the alias of two hardened electronic music veterans, Tadd Mulling (AKA Dabrye) and Daniel Meteo (accomplice of Shitkatapult label founder T. Raumschmiere and half of Bus with Sun Electric’s Tom Thiel) and sees the release of material that was originally put together during an intense recording session across a week in 2007.

‘Good Star Dubs’ might nod to Jamaican musical roots but this album is a product, first and foremost, of Berlin’s enduring techno scene. The result is a throbbing soundclash that fuses the springy, echo-laden stylings of the reggae re-versions that were cut by the likes of King Tubby back in the 1970s with the crisp, slowly-evolving instinct of minimal techno. On the epic ‘Digidubx’, the beat is slow but relentless, subjected to multiple sonic events as it progresses, while a thick, gritty synth bass line rises up out of nowhere and is filtered, bent and skewed until it shares more in common with acid freakery than Studio One.

Like the best dub versions, MM Studio know that the emotion lies in manipulation, in tweaking things off centre and stretching out sections until they resonate in unpredictable ways. ‘Good Dubs’ is simultaneously chilled and languid but rigidly intense and always revealing itself, with cuts like ‘Dub 100’ sounding more like a twisted electro track spliced with all manner of unexpected segues and a stop-start haphazardness. ‘Dub 92’ riffs off some forgotten sampleadelic trip-hop motif, with noirish guitars and a bassline that could crack ribs layer into a thick sonic stew. ‘Good dubs’ is surely an understatement.

7/10

Words: Mat Smith (@mjasmith)

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