Temple Gong 2017
Beamed up to be taken aback and out of Babylon, rasta troopers from Detroit readjust their altitude – not attitude.
It’s quite unusual for a genre as firmly rooted as reggae to be reaching for the stars, yet that’s exactly what the members of this Michigan ensemble do on “Dub World”: the album with a deceptively telling title where emphasis is on the second, not first word. A continuum created here is conceptually cosmic-minded and positively spaced-out as outlined by “Arc Of Infinity” – rolling on a bass-and-drums lock and forming a formidable slab of dub.
It can’t be solid by definition. “Molecular Cloud” is initially distilled to percussion before hazy shades of other instruments flow in and out of focus, whereas “Galactic Halo” offers a condensed dance experience whose tense throb is caressed with an acoustic guitar lace and David Asher’s soulful singing. But if the belligerent chant of “Computronium” throws a technologically advanced Babylon to the farthest orbit, the epic “Dark Matter Shift” cuts a delicate shape out of nebulous brass and barely-there ivories
Most of the melodies would sound familiar to those who swayed to the rhythms of "Who Is That Mad Band?" as that album’s follow-up is revisiting old haunts to reveal their previously concealed recesses and color them differently. As a result, “Android Specie” has an 8-bit playfulness to its effects now which spice up its heavy groove and propel the piece, oiled with slide guitar, towards triumphal climax, while the less inflammable riffs of “Interstellar Medium” and “Escape Velocity” gained an abstract consciousness for greater, prog-stricken impact, what with the vestiges of vocals in the mix.
It’s sweet, siren-like voices that make “Magnetosphere” so riveting, though, so this is a world alluring enough to get in and never want out… until the next adventure looms on the event horizon.