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Album Review

Compiling the next eight releases on their highly acclaimed Burial Mix imprint, the mighty Rhythm & Sound return on The Artists with a maelstrom of subbass and their minimal version of dub. While on the surface it appears much hasn't changed within the familiar sound and structure of Rhythm & Sound's Burial Mix output, those who have been picking each release up will notice how much the duo has evolved since 1998's brilliant Showcase full-length. The group stretches the boundaries of its previous minimal dub workouts and turns its head into the practice of crafting full-fledged songs. Instead of exclusively collaborating with longtime vocalist Paul St. Hilaire, they have opted to work with several vocalists who are legendary in dub circles, serving as ambassadors between two closely linked worlds and educators to a generation of youth who might not have been turned on to dub had it not been so intricately linked with electronic music. Their collaboration with the Chosen Brothers had already been released in an extremely limited edition, but here it has been rehashed and given more of an arrangement with horns and more percussive elements, giving "Mash Down Babylon" even more of a direct kinship to the Brothers' legendary career and less of a tie to the Burial Mix output. The collaboration with the Love Joys on "Best Friend" echoes classic moments from the Wackies' output. It's a dense, atmospheric 50-minute excursion and an essential compilation to anyone who missed out on the vinyl releases. It's also a perfect document to show just how far Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald have evolved as producers, and a guide to what the future direction of Burial Mix will be. [As according to tradition in dub circles, a supplementary disc, The Versions, was also issued, providing the instrumentals to each of the compositions featured here.]

Biography

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of several anonymous projects linked to the mysterious Berlin dub-techno duo Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, Rhythm & Sound released a series of 10" records on Burial Mix and 12" records on Rhythm & Sound, both labels distributed by Hardwax. Von Oswald and Ernestus' Rhythm & Sound recordings are much more dub-influenced and less techno-orientated than the duo's...
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W/ The Artists, Rhythm & Sound
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