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Album Review

When a band calls itself the Culver City Dub Collective, you immediately think you know what to expect: laid-back SoCal reggae with a loopy "whoa, dude" groove. In this case, the reality is a bit more complex. Led by transplanted Bostonians Franchot Tone (guitar) and Adam Topol (drums), the band is actually a loose aggregation whose music ranges from smoky dubwise reggae to Afro-Latin grooves, jazz, and abstract soundscapes that dissolve into an almost Brian Eno-esque ambience. And there's more: "No More My Love" is what a ska band would sound like if it were fronted by Tom Waits, and "Bad Reaction" sounds an awful lot like a Bedouin Soundclash song — probably because the guest singer is Jay Malinowski. Other guests include Ben Harper, Jack Johnson (in whose band Topol regularly plays), Studio One legend Winston Jarrett, and keyboardist Money Mark. And a number of the tracks featured here are remixes of songs originally issued on the Collective's self-titled debut EP — a considerate gesture to their fans who already bought the original version, and an effective teaser for those whose introduction to the band is this full-length album. Very highly recommended.

Dos, Culver City Dub Collective
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