bvdub is the solo project of an American living in China. Neither of those locations particularly bleed through into the music however, which sounds a lot of the time like the vocals from classic house tracks echoing around in a room, with some droney synth and some percussion happening next door. A Step In The Dark is out on AY.
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- A Step In The Dark by bvdub
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 02 July 2015
bvdub has made as many records as he has tattoos and he has an awful lot of tattoos. Some are great, some not so (records not tattoos - I can't possibly comment on the quality of his tattoos). So what will happen next? ..well...opener 'No Rest For The Weary' is a typically dense collage of pitch-shifted voices with curls around adequately before a more chanted voice comes in. It comes paired with some of the shittest beats I've ever heard - so bad they must be intentionally so but their clunkiness really holds the record back and doesn't allow if to flower in the way it should. Shame as I was quite liking this. bvdub never rushes anything - 'My Cold Summer Heart' has a circling acoustic guitar figure with more slowed down voices drifting about. It's nothing Durutti Column hasn't already done in his 'Time Was Gigantic... When We Were Kids' era but works nicely. The beats again feel rather superfluous. 'The Bigger They Love...the Harder They Fall' again uses the store preset piano melodies that so ruined his 'Born in Tokyo' record, bvdubs biggest asset these days is knowing how to overlay a drifting evocative vocal sample.
The dreamy techno of such great albums as 'The First Day' is long gone to be replaced by a kind of post classical ambience. When subtlety is used as on the excellent 'Another Morning, Another Day' then this is quite beautiful but you always feel you are just one dreadful synth sound away from petrol station bought relaxation tapes. It's a strange anomaly to describe an artist so prolific as 'lazy' but some of these tracks sound like they've been knocked up in a 15 minute lunch break. Still, he knows what he can do and plays to those strengths and this record has plenty soothing music to enjoy.
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