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Avatar - Like River to Ocean

Avatar - Like River to Ocean

Avatar - Like River to Ocean

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A Collection of Chilled Out Instrumentals from Ireland.

Sampler

Now we could spend all day discussing what constitutes a dub as opposed to an instrumental but to me if you are going to call something dub, as the songs on this album have, it has to me reshape an existing recording by beefing up the drum and bass and giving it plenty of echo, reverb or panoramic delay while throwing in a few sound affects to create a new and interesting soundscape, where as with the eight rootsy based tracks here are all original pieces from Irish band Avatar, there are no vocal versions and the effects department is kept to a minimum and thus for me this makes them instrumentals.

Now that I've got that off my chest what about the songs, well what you get are some very easy going tunes, that posses smooth bass lines and a very sturdy brass section consisting of trombone, bass trombone, trumpet, flugelhorn and a sax that breathe a certain warmth over the tracks and give them a sound basis to work from. Subtle jazzy touches are added by the sparkling guitar work throughout and even the use of a vibraphone on ‘Loving Kindness Dub’, plus there is the dulcet use of a flute and clarinet from time to time.

The Opener 'Sunrise Dub' with its waters lapping the shore intro and hauntingly sung opening that leads into the chugging organ with that warmth laden brass and bright gently plucked guitar solo brings you round hazily from the excess of the night before in a mellow chilled out way, which really sets the tone for this album. Sure following track 'Joyful Dub' shifts to a more upbeat gear with its calypso / ska style vibe, but even this still maintains a relaxed and laid back feel.

Standout tracks for me are ‘Kingdom I Dub’, which is a bit deeper and rootsier with scattered shouts of Rastafari and the drum and bass brought more to the fore plus I’m always a sucker for that classic Hammond styled grinding keyboard. The other track is 'Heart Of Wisdom Dub’ which again opens and closes with a very haunting vocal, in Gaelic this time I think, and is another blissed out affair with a melancholy trombone taking the lead.

Maybe not one for the die hard deep rooted reggae/dub fan, but this is still a nice set of pleasing if not inspiring instrumentals.

Tags: Avatar, Dub

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Posted by SpringlineRecords on 02.28.2010
A wonderful set of warm organic from time vibes.
In places very Tommy McCook and The Supersonics, indeed a couple of the tunes appearing on this album could of been pulled from the old Doctor Bird label B Sides. A clean crisp recording yet leaning more towards analog sound rather than digi in it's sound production.
A superb album to kick off 2010.
Take a slice and play it nice!
Gibsy @ Springline.

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