Bass-playing producer/DJ Dub Gabriel is a Chicago native whose well-documented love of reggae may well constitute the seedbed of his creativity. But as "Bass Jihad" makes obvious, he is way beyond any single influence. His tracks variously bring to mind moments of Trans-Global Underground, Trilok Gurtu, Tabla Beat Science, Thievery Corporation, Bill Laswell, Brian Eno and the more chilled elements of Asian Underground. But "Bass Jihad" overlays these influences with Gabriel's distinctive flair. Drawing freely from ambient, lounge, minimalism, dub reggae and aggressive electronica, his ideas are as unpredictable as they are seductive.
*CRITICS PICK! - Billboard Magazine
The droning seven minutes of "Musique de Lame" are so hypnotically tranquil one wouldn‘t dream the effervescent chaos of the mizmar-blaring "War in the Poppy Fields" came from the same record. Such is the maddened mind of Brooklyn-based bassist/producer Dub Gabriel. On Bass Jihad, his follow-up to the excellent Ascend, Gabriel revisits Arabic strings and horns while dubbing down the low-end with true Rasta artistry. "Zooklyn" showcases Middle Eastern percussion with heady electronica while proving his penchant for inventive song naming. The cross-cultural fusion is a philosophical masterpiece you don‘t have to think too hard about. Simply lay back and enjoy the ride. -XLR8R
Educated in the Laswellian school of bass-heavy deconstruction, Brooklyn-based producer/DJ/four-stringer Dub Gabriel returns with another exploration of Arabic-leaning landscapes tuned to the sound of his namesake. A confluence of warlike rhythms (hence the album title) are ingeniously layered by an analog flurry of percussion, mizmar(reed pipe) and ney (Turkish flute). The 11-track record plays like a Kubrickian soundtrack for future societies where all the world's instruments are thrown into one circle and the orgy is conducted by none other than the archangel Gabriel himself. -Paste Magazine
Many different things. Electronica can be harsh, confrontational, abrasive, and in your face; that's true of techno, which often feels like electronica's answer to death metal, free jazz, metalcore, or gangsta rap. But electronica can also be lush, sleek, ethereal, and dreamy; plenty of chillout and downtempo recordings fit that description. Or it can be something as hypnotic as producer Dub Gabriel's work. Bass Jihad is an ironic title for this 2005 release, because Gabriel's material doesn't sound anything like a "jihad," which means "holy war" in Arabic. One could easily make a case that techno is an "electronic jihad," but Bass Jihad is far from techno. An ambient disc with a strong world music influence, Bass Jihad is all about hypnotizing the listener and putting him/her in a trancelike state. But Gabriel doesn't hypnotize in a totally predictable way; this isn't one of those electronica albums where you have pretty much heard it all after the first few minutes. Gabriel is fairly unpredictable, incorporating a variety of world music; you never know if he's going to incorporate Arabic, Indian, Asian, or African elements, which is part of the fun. Gabriel maintains a trance-inducing ambience from start to finish -- there is a certain continuity throughout the 68-minute CD -- but for Gabriel, creating and maintaining a certain type of atmosphere doesn't mean that every track sounds the same. None of the material on this album has a standard verse/chorus/verse/chorus format, and despite the use of some background vocals, Bass Jihad is essentially an instrumental album. It is also a successful demonstration of how electronica and world music can work together with enjoyable, intriguing results. -All Music Guide
released May 5, 2005
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper.
Dave Hill Jr.
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