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Album Review

After a five-year hiatus following 1998's Out of Your Mind, Dub Narcotic Sound System returned to the recording scene with this four-song, 21-minute EP. The music is consistent with their past efforts: a fusion of dub reggae, funk, and rap, with some of the most nonchalantly goofy vocals and lyrics you're likely to hear on records boasting such blends. The band does play with an inviting raw looseness and some definite bottom funk. For a four-song release, it's pretty varied. "Handclappin'" has the poker-faced vocals for which Calvin Johnson's most known, "Petrolbzz (Version)" is a spacy, slightly sloppy melodica-dominated instrumental, and "Mega-Clash (Version)" is the most sonically experimental, throwing in all sorts of jazz-funk improvisation, distorted vocals, and improvised-sounding electronic effects and noises over the course of its seven and a half minutes. The standout cut, though, is "Sabley Goodness," due to the sexy yet slightly eccentric dubwise romantic spoken vocals of Heather Dunn.


Formed: 1994

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

The oddball indie-funk collective Dub Narcotic Sound System was spearheaded by vocalist Calvin Johnson, the former frontman of the legendary Beat Happening as well as the founder of the famed K Records label. Named in honor of Johnson's own Olympia, WA-based basement studio Dub Narcotic, the project was begun in 1994 with a rapid-fire series of funk-, rap-, and reggae-influenced singles including "Bite," "Fuck Shit Up," "Booty Run," and "Shake-a-Puddin'"; from the outset Johnson was the group's sole...
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Handclappin', Dub Narcotic Sound System
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