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Foundation Bit

Disrupt

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Album Review

Whatever dub once was has long since mutated into something else entirely, less a living sound than a template for other individual obsessions around the globe. Thus Jan Gleichmar, who performs under the Disrupt moniker, and his debut album, Foundation Bit, which smashes together early video games, general science fiction references, and more into his preferred interpretation of the form. Given the often joyless (and worse, downright tedious) realms of many modern dub variants, Foundation Bit has this going for it from the start — humor, of an implied sort perhaps, plus light to match against the overwhelming shade. The heavy echo and slow bass crawl kicking things off with "Tubby Rom Module," for instance, may be simply exactly what one expects, but the shimmering treble tweaks and computer gurgles keep things from simply being yet more hauntology run amuck. If Gleichmar doesn't screw around much with the expected basics — there are the vocal snippets chopped and swirled into infinity, the compressed horn section moments, and plenty of other signifiers that stand for dub without even trying — it's the squirrelly bits he slips in on a variety of songs that make them the treats they are. "Jah Red Gold and Green" has a title that says it all, but the burbling computer voice sounds like it should be part of Berzerk, while "Blast You to Bits" has a core dialogue exchange lifted straight from the ur-source of all computer-animated action movies, Tron ("Bomb 20" does the same with Dark Star). Meanwhile, funny (and punny) titles are hardly unknown in dub; still, it is a bit surprising to realize that nobody had figured out the slap-your-forehead term "THC 1138" before now.

Foundation Bit, Disrupt
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