Dub Power – Trumystic
TMG Records 007
Trumystic stands apart from their reggae peers, mainly through lead singer Kirsty Rock's beautiful female voice, often absent in a game packed with males. More importantly, this band whispers of a building undercurrent in the genre. Bands are creating music in a dub style. In the past, songs were written and, later, DJs would create airily stripped down versions of the track. The current dub philosophy suggests that the music be played live on stage. Showing respect to the changeover, one of studio dub’s grand masters, Mad Professor, keeps it old school by dubbing most of the first disc and including his contribution as disc two on this release.
The tracks are catchy and easy on the ear, sounding pretty standard, with songs more accessible than a lot of contemporary reggae acts. Missing the heavy rasta message and minus any Jamaican accents to decipher, Dub Power could even land some radio play. Reggie Burrows’ bass pumps roots-founded backlines, and drumming duties are shared (indistinguishably) by David Delgado, Jose Hernandez and Ismael Allen. Kirsty Rock also handles B3 and melodica duties along with the vocals, while Erik Rabasca and Saj Taylor play guitar. Adding accents is the horn team of saxophonist Mike Panzarini and trombonist Toli Nameless.
Without hearing something live from this unit, it’s hard to say where they’ll go. If they can pull the sound off live, a door is opening, but if their studio efforts don’t translate to the stage, then they’re really no different from any other dubbed out studio creation. The studio allows so much control over the final product and the real test for a live dub act is producing that same sound on stages sporting imperfect sound systems.
How do you dub a dub album? Mad Professor figured it out (just cut more out and dub it harder) and so we have the second disc out of Dub Power. While it’s nice, it seems like overkill. As long as it doesn’t jack the price to two-disc norms, though, it’s an excellent bonus.
Trumystic is good, but they aren’t creating an overwhelmingly new sound, so it’s hard to recommend Dub Power to obsessed reggae listeners. The reggae elite will still dig and vibe on the sound, but Trumystic’s best shot will be people who are looking to jump in for reggae’s sound without getting hit on the head by steady dogma; and I’m just not sure how big that target audience is.