Doctor Echo
Doctor Echo
Doctor Echo
August 14 - 2004

Track list
  1. Acquired Space
  2. Seven Kings
  3. Massive Dub
  4. Blue Sky
  5. Passion
  6. Newland Dub
  7. Living Reality
  8. Dub For Truth
  9. Dub #3
  10. Mix That Hits Like Bricks
  11. The Original
  12. No More War
  13. Five
  14. Lost Arts
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
From downtown Sacramento, California, Justin DeHart, a.k.a. Doctor Echo has long been involved in mixing various acoustic sounds with electronic effects. Originally a drummer, Doctor Echo began mixing dub music in 1992, while playing drums in Sacramento's live dub band, The Defendants. The Defendants also included Tyler Pope (Outhud, !!!, LCD Sound System) on guitar, Justin Vandervogen (Outhud, !!!) on live mixing/guitar/misc., Jason Dudley on bass, and many other random guests at various times. Initially, he recorded on a Tascam cassette 4-track that he received from a friend. Being infatuated with the transcendental effects of recording and mixing dub music, he immediately began acquiring more gear to build an 8-track studio to open to the public.
Soundlab Studio was born in 1996 when frequent noise complaints from neighbors forced him to relocate from 1406 F Street downtown to a commercial building across town at 1821 17th Street. Then band mates Steady Ups, as well as roommate and artist Craig Oliveira (Lab Assistant), collaborated in building the new studio. The space was outfitted with rehearsal rooms as well as full recording facilities. Steady Ups were becoming immensely popular around town for their traditional rocksteady grooves as well as occasional dub tendencies during shows. Many of their songs were recorded during these years along with numerous dub versions that have yet to be released. Doctor Echo's first release in 1999 on Jumpstart Records, "Dr. Echo Presents: Cure for the Dubless", featured dubs from the bands that he was playing drums and recording with at that time, including Who Knows, as well as some of the doctor's original tracks.
The next few years found the doctor busy recording with and producing many reggae and electronic projects, such as Tha Storytellahs, Blackalicious, Filibuster, Frank Jordan, and The Original Heads. With the advent of an ADAT multi-track recorder, Doctor Echo began playing live shows mixing previously recorded dub rhythms. His presence on the controls is immediately felt as the sonic bombs of echo and reverb shake the very foundation of consciousness within those who are at an earshot. Besides mixing for live bands, he would also add live artists to his multi-track setup such as trumpet player Tim Conroy, vocalist Nkosazana Divine, and electronic sound artist Lab Assistant. Always hungry for new influences, and passionate for drums and percussion, Doctor Echo traveled to South India in the year 2000 to spend nine months studying the traditional drumming there as well as collaborate with various artists.
He's considered as one of the most prominent dub artists on the West Coast. Doctor Echo's underground sounds attract fans that range from ska/reggae lovers to punk and electronic heads. With mixes that are dark, sonic, sensual, and spiritual, his music puts the listener on a sedated matrix inner exploration. Inspired initially from the old school instrumental dub versions from Jamaica, Doctor Echo is evolving his music to include tastes of electronic, East Indian, minimalist, dance, and dancehall music.
Now he has come up with his long awaited self-titled self-released follow up album. The entire album was recorded on a 1/2" 8-track machine, between the years of 1997-2002. All rhythm tracks were laid down without sampling/sequencing, and only a few were tracked with a metronome. Featured musicians on the album include international recording artists Nkosazana Divine on vocals, guitar guru Tyler Pope, and bass wizard Harley White Jr., previously in Papa's Culture. The fourteen track album collects styles from several Jamaican dub artists like King Tubby, Lee Perry and Augustus Pablo, but with a clear and present, wayward style of the doctor himself. The tempo is slowed down, thus creating a more sinister and darker sound. The album as a whole is more or less a sound landscape ready to be explored. Check out the hypnotic vocals of Nkosazana Divine on the tracks Blue Sky and Living Reality and Mc Ground Chuck's vocal delivery on Mix That Hits Like Bricks. One of our favorite tracks here is the nyabinghi flavored tune No More War with a nice organ riff and also the far east sound of The Original.
Check it out at : www.doctorecho.com .

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