Well this was quite a surprise.
After a set of more techno-inflected cuts on the current trilogy Infinity Dubs EPs, comes this unexpected full length album with Paul St Hillaire/Tikiman on Deadbeat’s Blkrtz label. Deadbeat has kept the dub techno flame alive since his first releases around 2000, each release offering a different permutation of the original Berlin/Kingston template laid down by Mark Ernestus and Mauritz von Oswald in the 1990s. He has never been coy about these influences – see his reverential 2010 Radio Rothko mix – but his recent sound has moved further away from these roots, flirting more with percussive techno.
Shrouded in a thick fog of delay and warm dub synths, these eight tracks feel much slower than their BPMs suggest but are still far more techno-oriented than Rhythm & Sound’s stellar collaborations – and, with the vocals recall Brendon Moeller’s Wikkid Times album as Beat Pharmacy (2008). Paul St Hillaire is in good form, coming off a strong EP with the 8-bit Jahtari crew late last year, and his roots vocals still fit this sound perfectly, even on the more uptempo house cut Little Darling. The two slowest cuts, What The Heck Them Expect and Rock of Creation conform most to the Rhythm & Sound template, and combine spacious gaseous echo and delay with St Hillaire’s righteous chat. Together with the Infinity Dubs trilogy of EPs, this has been a productive period for Deadbeat.