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Dadub: Way to Moksha EP

Dadub is a duo of Daniele Antezza and Giovanni Conti, one of whose inspirations is Lee Scratch Perry. This dub sensibility helps them sculpt impressive new forms from techno and electronica materials. Their Berlin-produced work inevitably draws comparisons with the Berlin dub techno sound, yet they manage to open up new conceptual space in their music and have a distinctive audio signature that's also apparent on their remixes of fellow Stroboscopic Artefacts label artists.

Dadub retain dignity and steer well clear of IDM-style tweeness or achingly tasteful Chain Reaction imitation

There's plenty of air and space in the tracks but it's often balanced with darker elements and even at their most idyllic, Dadub retain dignity and steer well clear of IDM-style tweeness or achingly tasteful Chain Reaction imitation. The press release suggests the tracks have some (undefined) philosophical inspiration and they're certainly appropriately deep and multi-layered.

Dadub's style has some similarities with Sandwell District or the heavier side of Chain Reaction artists such as Fluxion, but with less emphasis on the bass and more on the higher-end textures.

The techno resurgence of the last year or more is in full swing and there's no shortage of quality material but precisely because of this you have to deliver something exceptional to really stand out. The opening track 'Perseverance'is one the most impressive tracks I've heard for a long time. It's an unresolved play of force and tension as the most inspiring techno should be – a dense field of cold filter sweeps and tense beats full of power and drama.

distinctive faltering percussion and icy textures that carve out an immense space

The rest of the EP is equally well-executed but increasingly abstract and ambient compared to 'Perserverance'. 'Temptation of Maya' is moodier and less linear and features distinctive faltering percussion and icy textures that carve out an immense space. Beyond the Veil also opens drenched in hiss, but is more affirmative and uplifting than the previous tracks, even if the sweeps sometimes recede into darker territories.

At times it almost grinds to a halt but always recovers the pace. Moksha is closest to the Chain Reaction sound, particularly to Monolake and Various Artists but with a disrupted momentum that's forward looking but too heavily dubbed to be truly linear.

Overall, this is a very impressive release on what's becoming an essential label for well-crafted and far-thinking techno.

On stroboscopicartefacts

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