Friday, August 21, 2009

2003 : 47 "Best Friend" by Rhythm & Sound w/ Love Joy

My love of funky Germans knows no bounds.

From 1993 to 1995, Berlin dance music producers Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, operating as Basic Channel, took the crystalline edges of techno and transformed them to liquid and vapors, obscuring the beat matrix until it was little more than a retinal afterimage. The sound was at once distant and warm as bath water, the throbbing comedown after the endless Friday night of Detroit/Berlin dance floor motivating.

There was a third city in the mix: Kingston, Jamaica. Oswald and Ernestus's post-BC work is a steady progression away from the techno and deeper into dub. As Rhythm & Sound, they turned down the BPMs and brought together an all-star team of dance hall artists to make Rhythm & Sound w/the Artists. Rather than overwhelm with their signature abstractions, R&S lay back, giving wide berth to a series of stand out vocal performances from legendary Jamaican artists. Check out the low smolder from Love Joy on "Best Friend."

In addition to the few R&S records, they have reissued several titles from the American reggae label Wackies. These reissues are a treasure trove of sides that were formerly only available to obsessed and thick-walleted collectors. If you like deep, sprawling dub and stony dancehall, seek out these discs.

Neil Jendon

Listen: Rhythm & Sound w/ Love Joy >> "Best Friend"

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