I like Dub. I like the archetypal deep beats, the wandering, ponderous path the music follows, the immersive rhythyms which drag you in – I like all of it and from the innovators of the genre onwards to the sea of bedroom producers we have today I can pretty much always find something which works for me. It is, however, a very lazy genre. Barring one or two notable exceptions Dub makers are rarely given to random experimentation; the foundations of the music are clearly laid out and they’re more than solid enough for most just to indulge in the minorest of variations in their work, hoping, presumably, that even if the structure is as predictable as ever they’ll make the right minor adjustment to make their work stand out. Mostly, however, they fail.
Mildtape’s release ‘Dub Alpina’ is decent Dub. The foundations are in place, the minor modifications to the traditional template work and, all in all, it’s not a bad listen. There are a couple of nice beats in there, a few ideas well executed but for all that I still can’t help but feel a little disappointed. As someone like Titus Twelve shows there’s room for innovation in Dub, room to layer on something original and interesting over the age old foundations without detracting from what the genre is loved for – something which doesn’t happen on this work horse of a release. And I don’t mean to sound cold in saying that, previously I’d have happily added this to my collection and taken it for what it is, a decent Dub album, but the formula has become diluted through dozens of encounters in free (and non-free) music.
Anyway, there’s a decent release here and I don’t want to knock it too much because there’s nothing wrong with efforts like this beyond, perhaps, a certain laziness.