It is with great pleasure to review music that's tantalizing to the imagination with its playfulness. Thelonius Dub's sound is creative play in every sense of the word playfulness - "play", "full" and lots of "ness" where play is the state of being.
There's a sense of brilliance in music that can make a complex mirepoire into child's play. My intuition is this takes a lot of intimacy with the foundations of music and turning it upside down and inside out then coming out at the end of it standing up, combined with a sense of boldness.
It's akin to any gymnast at the vault who jumps on the spring and summersaults and twists in the air then lands solidly on both feet (or often a slight hop or wobble.) This type of feat takes hours of practice and dedication and just belief that the sound one makes bears truth. There's a noetic quality to the music.
Thelonious Dub, (aka TDub) is a Los Angeles based band that formed in 2007. Their second CD release "Master Plan B" is made up of original songs. It's a follow up from their first release which was a collection of songs from the masters: Monk, Miles, Shorter and Mingus.
If Dub is defined as an eclectic mix of "deep sub-bass, clanging percussion, echoed beats dropping in the mix, and other-worldly effects phased through either channel" then TDub has evoked that chemistry into their sound. Experimental music can sometimes be premature for even the most avant-garde tastes, but TDub's sound is very groove oriented and multi-layered that can keep the attention locked into sound. It's a fusion of funk, fusion jazz, funky with some edgy rock from the guitar.
Joe Bartone's solos carry a lot of intelligence, meaning it’s a right-brain, subcounsious rooted sound that comes from everyone's collective ancient brain. We would all be able to connect to it. Spacie Kyle's sax solos are pretty much on the same wavelength, but I think more accessible and balanced with the left-brain logical mind. Sean Rainey's beats and rhythms provides the framework upon which all the others sounds can be laid upon. His playing ignites a lot of the inventiveness from all players.
This music has some laid back songs like "Sleepy Foot", but it's not laid back to put your imagination to sleep. It's just relaxed play with lots of subtle dischordant melodies which is the irony that this whole CD is all about. It's fully of irony which makes it very interesting and fun listening. Brandon Schmidt has a solo on the "All My Friends (Hate Me)" and displays a grounding effect to the otherwise ethereal feel of the song. It's one of my favorites on the CD. The last track “Nothing is Sacred Anymore” proves TDub’s sense of play with a song that’s parallel to The Doors “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”.
Here are some heartfelt words from Joe Baritone on the night of their CD release party last June (taken from their facebook page.)
"Hi Tonight is Thelonious Dub’s CD release party for our second recording “Master Plan B” People ask me what goes into recording a record. It requires a great surplus of disposable cash and an extraordinary amount of labor hours spent scrutinizing the smallest of details. ...This explains why I still drive a 1993 Toyota Pick-up with no AC and hitting 300,000 miles. The money for my new truck went into this CD. I did so without expecting to get my investment back. Why? Because good art out-lives me. I hold that as a better investment. I can’t think of a more intimate way to show you my true self than to make recordings. I find this the best use of my talents and assets. When I am working on a record, there is nothing else in the world. This mindfulness creates meaning for me. I value that." --------ANALYN REVILLA
Members: Joe Bartone - Electric guitar, guitar synth Sean Rainey - Drums and electronic toys Space Kyle - tenor sax, synths Brandon Schmidt - upright bass Tracklist: 1. You Can't Win 2. Do It Anyway 3. Wisdom Without Love 4. The Admiration Of Fools 5. After She's Dead 6. Mumble What? 7. Sleepy Foot 8. All My Friends (Hate Me) 9. Nothing Is Sacred Anymore