Album review
MCD / M-Series
July 1, 1997

Tracking list

  1. M06B (edit)
  2. M07A (edit)
  3. M04A (full 12" length)
  4. M05A (edit)
  5. Domina Maurizio mix (edit)
  6. M04B (edit)
  7. M07B (unreleased mix)
  8. M04.5A (edit)
  9. M06A (edit)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Vocals : - Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3/4

This is the CD release compiling six of the eight 12"s that have been released by Berlin dub-techno duo Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus a.k.a. Rhythm & Sound under their Maurizio moniker on their M label, about which more can be read, like on their other Basic Channel-labels, in the article Rhythm & Sound...Jamaican hallucinations in stripped-down slowmotion. The album opens with 1996 recorded "M06B", a techno track with a dub feel. And this track already shows what this album is, a compilation of the tracks made for the dancefloor, yet very much influenced by the legendary and especially the minimalistic side of 80s Jamaican dub. The same applies to almost every other tune, like the even one year newer echoing dubby 1997 "M07A". With some tunes, like 1995 "M04A" and "M04B" even firmer rooted in the 'dance-department', 1993 "Domina" being a straight 4/4 dance riddim, and others like 1995 "M05A" and "M04.5A" from the same year being perfect hybrids, with 1996 "M06A" and the 1997 "M07B (unreleased mix)" already closing in on their turn of the century more-dub-than-techno work as Rhythm & Sound, this album is an absolute must have for anyone with a faint interest in experimental dub, and anyone able to see dub as a particular kind of in this case 6 to 11 minutes long soundscapes. Highly recommended! For others who think this album is straying too far away from the dancehall, ska, dub and reggae they are used to, there's excellent news: I had the pleasure of briefly talking with Mark Ernestus at the Hard Wax/Basic Channel Headquarters in Berlin's Kreuzberg last week, and another Rhythm & Sound reggae album (much like the "Rhythm & Sound w/ The Artists"-album) is scheduled for early 2005. We discussed in short how the 2004 album came about, that is was mere luck that led to cutting the first 10" with Cornel Campbell in 2001, as he was staying with Paul St.Hilaire (still affectionately called 'Tiki' by Mark Ernestus) and time was too short to record a tune, but a show was canceled, and despite still not having enough time at hands, the opportunity was taken. It hasn't been a planned set from the beginning, Mark (and Moritz) just feel they were lucky enough to have taken the chances that came up. To be honest, I can hardly wait till hearing the new album coming spring.