Ras Amerlock – 2010, A Bass Oddity (Trinity All Stars)
Dub is rarely percieved as a genre with a tendency towards variety for reasons which, to most, are fairly obvious. After all, most Dub actually *is* fairly similar and with the basics of the beat almost engrained in the foundations of the music there’s limited scope for creative dabbling. Sure, you can go all out Electronic, or you can hold hard to traditionalism, or choose one of the paths in between the two but ultimately it remains a struggle to truly burst out of the confines of convention.
Yet people still love Dub; I still love Dub and even as I trawl through seemingly never-ending seas of langerous, rolling beats I still find myself seeking out ever more, looking for that next album even if I can usually bet that it’ll offer no revolutions or revelations. Why? Because good Dub knows the nature of the music, a good producer doesn’t harbour dreams of smashing the archetype of Dub, they mold it, they bend it into new shapes without breaking from the core materials of the genre. The best of the genre is that which offers a new character to the familiarity, which holds some almost ineffable quality which seeps into the listeners mind and leaves them enraptured and with a genuine love for it. Anyone who’s fallen for one specific Dub album out of all others, only to be told that it sounds the same as the rest, will understand the nature of those ensnaring qualities.
To Ras Amerlock though, continent hopping Rastafari Dub producer whose new album is todays chosen content. Is there a new charm here worthy of captivating an audience? Well yeah, there kind of is really. ‘2010, A Bass Oddity’ is for all the world to see a traditionalist Dub offering, firmly ensconsed in the fortress of the genres conventions but it doesn’t suffer for that fact. There’s that exact mark of quality here which differentiates the average from the good; it’s not a loud, obvious hallmark but through the eleven tracks contained the draw to that serene state of involvement which is so clearly found in Dub takes over the listener. Which I admit is slightly gushing with praise but within it’s chosen field this really is very good. No doubt it lacks the innovative difference of something like Titus Twelves offering ‘Dig & Delve’, which was a step down a more modern, unseen path within the genre, but Ras Amerlock shows no intent or aspiration to explore the darker realms of the style, his creations are bastions standing fully within the glaring light of Dub.
And now I really do sound like an obsessively flattering sycophant, which is far from my intent. There are ‘off’ spots here, moments of discordancy which seem out of place within the whole and a couple of times I did find my appreciation of the album jarred by unwanted intrusions from more shallow, less well structured sounds but these jagged peaks are fairly easily navigated and the flow of indulgent Dub goodness is resumed before long.
Ras Amerlock isn’t exactly the perfect Dub producer but he’s what you might call a master tradesman of the genre and that sense of quality is added to by a certain spark of personality which makes which this album a more than worthwhile download for anyone who likes their Dub Dubby and their evenings filled with head nodding, mind catching goodness.