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King Midas Sound, Dub Heavy—Hearts & Ghosts (Hyperdub)

May 7, 2009

Echo, echo, and then more echo  King Midas Sound pairs Kevin "The Bug" Martin with vocalist Roger Robinson for unearthly dub productions that offer about as much space as the Sahara does. The Dub Heavy—Hearts and Ghosts EP follows a haunting, late-2008 12-inch called Cool Out, and one of these days, the duo will issue their much-anticipated long player.

Robinson contributed a few verses to an understated anomaly last year on The Bug's London Zoo, and he emerged unscathed by the overdriven riddims that his King Midas crony built for the rest of the album. The vocalist's delicate mic time on Dub Heavy is washed out by loads of echo and plenty of hiss, as these watery beauties are "versions," in the original dub sense of the word, of presumably existing tracks stored somewhere on Martin's hard drive. Hyperdub junkies will recognize the remnants of verses that Martin split and let trail off over the endless snare thwacks on "Ting Dub"—they appear in full on Cool Out B-side "One Ting (Dabrye Remix)." Rim shots go almost unheard for opener "I Dub," but amid the chilling melody and barren street noise, there's plenty to absorb here. [4 out of 5 stars]

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