An intriguing new LP resulting from a meeting between prolific Jamaican production duo Sly and Robbie and Finnish artist and remixer Sasu Ripatti (a.k.a. Vladislav Delay), 500 Push Up was built out of extended jam sessions in Kingston, and mixed back in Finland to produce an album of curious sonic experiments.
CD £12.13 SR499
CD on Sub Rosa.
Limited Vinyl LP £19.93 SRV499
Limited-edition black & white colour LP on Sub Rosa. Limited to 600.
- Coloured vinyl
- Limited edition
Experimenting in music is all well and good, but ultimately you need grounding. It’s for this reason that dub has proven to be such a versatile and enduring format for artists the world over since it came to prominence in the 1970s. Dub offers limitless sonic potential, yet fundamentally its adherence to maternal sub-bass, rhythmic pulse and the appeal of pure sonics is non-hierarchical (Adrian Sherwood, the hugely influential British dub producer, is famously tone deaf). Ultimately, when dub really gets going, it allows the listener - any listener - to fully grasp the great spiralling majesty of their mind.
Vladislav Delay and Sly & Robbie’s ‘500-PUSH-UP’ is dub in photo negative, cyborg-dub. Across this brilliantly unusual record, dub provides a space where human and machine meet, the unshakable foundations of Sly & Robbie's playing providing a worldly tether for some truly daring textural experiments. In doing so it makes a sound that, if not quite utopian, certainly offers something like a third way.
These tracks whirr and burr at the very outer edges, the soundscapes swirling with stunted drums and distant waves of roboticised song. The core dub archetypes are here, but they are sliced and diced a hundred times over - spoken poetics, abrasive low-end hums and percussion loops of all forms are beaten into sheet metal, the warped reflections bouncing off them in a million directions while also remaining contained within themselves. Sometimes the pulse picks up, delivering slinking nocturnal grooves - there is as much Basic Channel as Lee Perry to ‘03 03 520’, the bass coming up against insectoid synthetics and faraway found-sound drifts that could pass for Biosphere or Pole.
All the while Vladislav Delay grounds his trickery with the kind of blissful aural nuggets that hit before comprehension - see how the kick drum thuds on ‘05 05 521’ sound like a stegosaurus planting foot on earth. ‘500-PUSH-UP’ is completely entrancing stuff that pulls you in ever deeper with each discombobulating blurt of sound.
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