Rhythm and Sound w/Tikiman-Showcase
November 11, 2008
Rhythm and Sound w/Tikiman
Showcase(Burial Mix 1998)
Rhythm and Sound
Carrier/Density (R&S 005)
Great dub already sounds murky, filthy and reeking of a bong hit from another planet. I’ve always been a big fan of dub as a soundtrack to long drives to nowhere in particular since the music itself seems to lack a destination as well. In addition, the German Basic Channel label and its catalogue of stoned house and electronic meanderers also provided ample company on many of these same daytrips. Therefore I was tickled pink when I discovered that Basic Channel’s main duo of Mark Ernestus and Mauritz Von Oswald were recording their own hypnotic take on dub under the moniker of Rhythm and Sound. The icing on this pot brownie was their collaboration with Paul St. Hilaire, otherwise known as Tikiman, a reggae vocalist whose laid-back delivery melded perfectly with their stoned, teutonic approach to dub.
Showcase is one of their earliest works and their only full-length collaboration with Tikiman and it may be my favorite release by both parties. I love the later lps and 12’s, but this one sounds most like it was recorded underneath the ocean as each beat and gently repetitive motif reverberates out of the speakers like a wayward pinball. It is mellow to the nth degree as Ernestus and Oswald’s compositions are almost narcoleptic in that they minimal to point where they almost threaten to fall apart into nothingness. There is a subtle, plodding bass that holds it all together, but Tikiman’s vocals are deconstructed and diced until they are sometime just used as accents instead of showpieces. However, Tikiman shines in his own sleepy manner when he strides to the forefront, but it serves best as a quick contrast to the echo and swirl of most of the album. Sometimes music can swing and groove from the sparsest of sounds and it is a testament to all involved that such a minimal album hits that sweet spot where the listener can do little but nod along to every single note.
As an added bonus, I am posting one of their later 12’s.