(only a snippet of the titel - it is not the full length)
Dub Spencer & Trance Hill have been in the music business for 20 years and are still very much as hungry as a caterpillar in a leafy forest.
In everything the band has done the dub component has loomed large, regardless of whether it was mixed up humorously and intelligently with Christmas songs, spoken words or spaghetti westerns. But despite the varied influences, electronic, psychedelic, “trance” elements always played an important role in the work of the renowned Swiss band, finding their ideal expression in sweat-drenched live shows that are truly a step beyond the ordinary. Now, finally, this side of the band is being given pride of place on the quartet’s new, twelfth album, “Imago Cells”, which heralds a metamorphosis.
“Imago cells are responsible for the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. At first they have no function, are even blocked. But they manage to win over the old cells and create new life: This served us as a starting point for the new record.”
The analogy of imago cells is also used for revolutionary events, to convey the idea of overcoming an old system to permit something more beautiful to emerge. Not that Dub Spencer & Trance Hill want to overcome their dubby roots, but the four natives of Lucerne simply cannot resist climbing up along unknown branches – and this path has lead them to explore the “trance” in their own band name for the first time. Masi Stalder (b), Markus Meier (g) and Julian Dillier (dr) remain true to their instruments, leaving drum machines and computers aside for the time being; only Philipp Greter (keys) has acquired a new, majestic conglomeration of synthesisers. The music featured on the new album was previously reserved for their live gigs.
“The ‘trance’ in the band name stands for the electronic part of our sound. Although it has hardly ever appeared on a record, it has always been there – much like the imago cells. Now we want to explore this aspect.”
From the old comes forth the new, and dub merges with electronic dance music, or rather “trance music”. Tracks like “Trance Plane”, “Fugu” or the curiously grandiose Oriental 5/4 piece “Dubai Market” clearly have an up-tempo spirit and extend an invitation to rave. The sound has become even more bassy and psychedelic without losing any of its earthy, organic touch. The four musicians booked the legendary Winterthur Hard Studios to fine-tune their sound, returning with eight tracks that bubble, echo and groove wonderfully and have the unmistakable Dub Spencer & Trance Hill sound. At the same time, everything on this album makes you understand that daring to do something new is the only conceivable way forward. It’s a truly magical moment, much like the birth of a butterfly.
The first King Size Dub compilation was intended as a conclusion. Back then, in 1994, Nicolai Beverungen worked for EFA as On-U Sound / Crammed Discs label manager and had the fluffy idea to put together a compilation with bands like the Disciples, Zion Train, among other things, that he had cared for at the time for distribution . In the Mid-90s there was a moderate boom in terms of NeoDub and also by the support of the Spex met the sampler the nerve of time and sold well. Thus, from what should be a conclusion, curiously a start, Nicolai says, looking back. The spectrum of artists, one of which is now already published titles, ranging from Seeed, Tackhead feat. Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Simply Red, Nick Manasseh, Templeroy, The Clash, KLF, Stereo MC's, Apollo 440, about Mad Professor, Lee Perry, Horace Andy, Shabba Ranks, Augustus Pablo, to King Tubby and The Congos.
Unexpected encounters with eg the absolute beginners, Toten Hosen, Mick Jagger, Fanta 4 and Sharam are possible. This suggests the question of where in all the variety, the common denominator is? "The common denominator is reggae. This was always clear to me. The aforementioned people are either pure reggae or they have a taste for reggae, such as Mick Jagger. I find it interesting when people are not pure purists and create with their possibilities a crossover potential. This is the common line for me. And that's why I have to ask, no problem, Mick Jagger next to King Tubby. Since it has fallen, an often verschmähtes word crossover. The trailer hear the pure styles do not like, closed raise the index finger on the lookout for fixed categories and left the field to the more free-thinking minds of time. Good thing, because in the variety of styles, there is a lot to discover and complainers bother because only.
Another term that is often used to characterize his label program by Nicolai again and again is "Future Dub". What's the link in between Mick Jagger, Stereo MC's, Grace Jones, Simply Red, Massive Attack, The Clash, KLF, Die Toten Hosen, Sharam, Seeed and Fanta 4 on the one hand and Shabba Ranks King Tubby, Lee Scratch Perry, Big Youth, Sly & Robbie, Horace Andy, Gregory Isaacs, Augustus Pablo, Glen Brown, I-Roy and The Congos? Exactly. HOWEVER, For Those of you with a quizzical squint in your eyes: All of the above have shown off Their artistic prowess on various releases by label group ECHO BEACH Themselves laying open to the label's motto: "In Dub We Trust."