Far from the land where Pink Floyd originally crafted their allusion to lunacy, full of blokes, monarchs, and Queen Elizabeth II, Easy Star All-Stars have taken on Dark Side of the Moon for a second time in a way that is almost as trance-inducing as its original and far more suited for a stroll through the sprawling rainforests of Ocho Rios
Dubber Side of the Moon is Easy Star All-Star’s follow-up to 2003’s smash Dub Side of the Moon. However, far from being a collection of Pink Floyd covers performed by reggae artists, Easy Star has managed to create unique tracks from songs that are universally known without compromising their integrity in the slightest. Never once is it a question of whether or not one is listening to a Floyd original, and this is noteworthy because the musicianship and entire sonic experience could not be more different from that of Floyd.
From its onset, one realizes that this album will require headphones or a respectable sound system to receive the full effect. The synthesized, effect-laden preamble to “Speak to Me/Breathe” is chilling and so elemental in nature that it is clear that Dark Side of the Moon is about to be experienced in its entirety and in an all new and grand way. All songs serve as segues into their successors, making the listening experience more of a journey than a series of songs that constitute an album.
Horror inducing laughter accompanies chaotic dub rhythm in “On the Run,” which yields seamlessly into “Time” where the overture continues from its predecessor. In an emotional twist, the lyrics kick in to remind the listener that he is in fact, still on this planet.
“Great Gig in the Sky” is perhaps the one track that does not deliver to the level that one might hope, likely due to extremely high expectations. Rather than a sonic escape that one might hope for, the band delivers somewhat of a lull, but a well textured one all the same.
True gems come in tracks six and seven with “Us and Them”> “Any Colour You Like.” Serving as a perfectly designed setup, “Us and Them” provides the proverbial dimming of the lights with subdued hip hop hooks interspersed with a dirty techno keyboard effect, and then launches into a dancehall smash with “Colour” that could literally go on for an hour and one would either find himself writhing in dance or relaxing in trance for the entire occasion. It is dub at its finest: dirty, emotional, spacey, disorganized, and beautiful.
Before proceeding into the bonus tracks – remixes from the album by some of dub-hop’s finest – the listening session ends lightly with “Eclipse” and escorts the listener into a gorgeous landing from his sonic and psychic vacation. Light vocals and bongos provide a flawless runway experience. On its whole and in its entirety, this album is a gem. Whether played as background music or blaring at its loudest, it is a “must add” to the collection of any dub, reggae, or Pink Floyd devotee.
Dubber Side of the Moon will be released on release on October 26th on Easy Star Records.