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World Music CD Reviews Reggae & Caribbean

DUB GABRIEL

By Derek Beres
Published September 22, 2005

Bass Jihad
Azra

As the album title implies, Brooklyn-based bassist/producer Dub Gabriel is on the warpath. On this followup to his debut Ascend, Gabriel proves to wield the world’s most dangerous weapon: the earth-trembling “chakra hits” (as he dubbed them) of the four-string. The opening “War In The Poppy Fields” sounds like a futuristic homage to Brian Jones’ Moroccan fantasia, creating a heady percussive ground for the blaring mizmar to canvas. Searching for solidarity between Arabia and Jamaica, Dub applies throbbing studio techniques to Middle Eastern percussion and horn playing. The hard hip-hop beat on “Zooklyn” sound like a sonic assault on concrete streets, with animal skin intonations bouncing from 24-inch chrome rims. Yet the center is the bass, and on the gorgeous, hypnotic “Musique de L’âme,” we are confronted with the true intentions of Moroccan trance. When the seven minutes are over you’ve returned from an inner journey that is completely out of this world.