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Album Review

The term "dub" suggests a clever pastiche, music stripped to its parts and reassembled into a new whole. Dub Narcotic Sound System's Boot Party is not that. Never coalescing, this recording is more erratic and unsettling than eclectic. Aside from the general confusion, there are a few tracks which are bewildered and bewildering in and of themselves. Defying all sensibility, "Super Dub Narcotic" is an interminable showcase for the melodica, and "Afi-Tiome" is more inscrutable still. Imagine a handful of juniors at a small, liberal arts college deciding it would be cool to form a blues band — this is what it would sound like.

On the other hand, amidst the jumble are a few tracks which redeem the whole project. "Monkey Hips and Rice" is an irresistible romp, a delightful exercise in R&B bass, nonsense lyrics and disco whistle. "Shake-A-Puddin'," a similarly delectable groove, will make you feel so funky that you won't be able to stand yourself. Although this was released on vinyl, buy the CD. With judicious use of the "program" button you can play producer and transform Boot Party from the rambling, incoherent album it is into the magnificent EP it should have been.


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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Boot Party, Dub Narcotic Sound System
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