Daniel Thomas and David Thomas are The Thomas Family, although confusingly they're not actually related. 'Dub Variations' is their first release under this moniker but they've worked together before as Hagman and TST and they also have three record labels between them, which seems a bit excessive for a duo but I'm not here to judge. Dave made some solo sketches on a modular synth, Dan made some field recordings in Hong Kong, and those sounds became the basis for this album of hypnotically rhythmic dub-inspired ambient textures.
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I’m pretty sure that The Thomas Family were supposed to be playing at an event I attended in Bradford last week. Having now listened to this album I’m now rather glad they didn’t. Not because they are particularly poor, on the contrary, just because I was in a typically tired state and their low end soft drones would have surely sent me to sleep. This album consists on three pieces entitled ‘Dub Variations’ marked one to three. The band consists of two people, both with the surname Thomas who aren’t related. It’s a little like the situation Duran Duran found themselves in with all those unrelated Taylors.
Anyway the sound they make is rather like that made by continuously rubbing your finger around the lip of a wine glass. Part 1 has gone on for 9 minutes now and any changes are subtle at best. Part 2 has more of an undulating pulsing tone. It reminds me of the distant sound of the pulses of an industrial yard somewhere in a bleak light industrial estate. Part three has a very similar feel but transports it to a wind tunnel and adds subtle hints of the much promised ‘dub’ by way of a distant pulsating beat.
Its as if you are lying in a hotel room in an industrial area of somewhere slightly scary feeling disorientated and lost and listening to sounds emanating from a nearby factory through a partially opened window. Strangely soothing.
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- Dub Variations by The Thomas Family
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