Reviews

Zero dB

British duo Zero dB (Chris Vogado and Neil Combstock) have earned equal if not more attention for their remixes as for their own songs, and Reconstruction features nine of their most solid interpretations of other musicians' work.

Few of the artists "reconstructed" (Grupo Batuque, Peace Orchestra, Interfearance) will be familiar to most folks, with the possible exception of the late American free jazz innovator Sun Ra. His "Satellites Are Spinning" is brought to new depths by Zero dB, who put effects and treatments on Arkestra singer June Tyson's bold voice and add layers of echoing sounds. The obscure track listing may make it hard to parse what Zero dB has exactly done to the originals in each case, but the duo have one important signature to listen for. Well-rounded producers, they're nonetheless best known for their attention-demanding bass lines in a genre where it is considered to be vital to the crafting of a good track.

Zero dB's flair for this sonic element is most brilliantly on display with its version of Suba's "Samba Do Gringo." On this cut, which began life with a much more traditional samba feel, the two U.K. producers overlay the guitar chords with two different types of simultaneously running bass lines: one a growling tonal squelch (a sound that was popular in early-Nineties acid house music) and the other a forceful barrage of low-end rumble. Those with a love of bass and an appetite for boom should look no further. -- Tamara Palmer

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Tamara Palmer