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l.b. dub corp-unknown origin 2lp (ostgut ton)

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l.b. dub corp: unknown origin

Ostgut Ton presents Unknown Origin, the debut album from Luke Slater's L.B. Dub Corp moniker. The ten tracks recorded at Spacestation Ø form a hymnal intent on transporting you back to the roots. Digging deep into the history of dance music, Unknown Origin dares to ask the big questions and offers no easy answers. Instead, deep spiritual dubs are side-by-side with slices of piano house, and handsome slabs of techno contrast with the words of the silver-tongued poet Benjamin Zephaniah. In L.B. Dub Corp's capable hands this examination of what has gone before is in absolutely no way nostalgic. These are tracks informed by the past and rooted firmly in the present. The euphoric early days of house make themselves apparent on "Turner's House" and the jubilant "Nearly Africa." They are also the key to the building piano line on "Ever and Forever." But house's ability to soothe a mournful soul is far from forgotten and "No Trouble in Paradise" should be kept close when everything's far from blissful. Through Unknown Origin L.B. Dub Corp makes it clear that his dub influences don't stop at its rhythms, but extend right into dub poetry. Benjamin Zephaniah, arguably the UK's premier wordsmith, makes two appearances on the record. He lends twisted turns of phrase to the swung, sensuous opener "Take a Ride," and returns at the album's mid-point to fill "I Have a Dream's" synthesized arcs with wit and word play. Zephaniah's words and L.B. Dub Corp's treatments catch you unawares, and this is why they're such a fantastic pairing. "I Have a Dream" undercuts the closed-down thinking that plagues politics and the us-and-them thoughts that can creep into rallying speeches. Together they create a surreal hymn for our pluralistic times. Equally there's just as much wisdom to be found in the smooth samples on "Generation to Generation" as there is humor. Amid the speculative, introspective moments on Unknown Origin there is no shortage of tracks to detonate dancefloors. "Anytime Will Be OK" is a grooved masterclass and "L.B's Dub" operates at jittery high-octane. The record draws to an almighty close with "Roller," featuring another formidable figure, Function. This pitch-black track provides the menacing last twist in the tale, a firm techno cut to end a record which traces dub to its roots and celebrates the heritage of house.

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