Showcase w/ Rhythm & Sound
Paul St.Hilaire
Burial Mix-Indigo
January 10, 2004

Track list
  1. Never Tell You
  2. Version
  3. Spend Some Time
  4. Version
  5. Ruff Way
  6. Version
  7. What A Mistry
  8. Version
  9. Why
  10. Version
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
Even if you're into techno and nu-dub, you still might never have heard of Paul St.Hilaire, but you will surely be familiar with his voice and might even be familiar with this 1998 album (rereleased 12 May 2003). To avoid a major lawsuit with someone in the US holding the rights to his former moniker, Tikiman had to retreat to his real name Paul St.Hilaire. As Tikiman he performed (a.o. at the last Drum Rhythm Festival held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands) alongside Austrian lounge/downtempo/ nu-dub wizards Kruder & Dorfmeister with their MC Sugar B and some of their labelmates. He recently released his self produced album "Unspecified", after being prominently featured on Stereotyp's "My Sound" album, released on Kruder & Dorfmeister's G-Stone label . The album reviewed here had been released in 1998 as Rhythm & Sound w/ Tikiman - "Showcase" (now retitled: w/ Paul St.Hilaire) for one of the several anonymous projects linked to the mysterious Berlin dub-techno duo Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, Rhythm & Sound. Von Oswald and Ernestus' Rhythm & Sound recordings released as a series of 10" records on Burial Mix (collected on this album) and 12" records on Rhythm & Sound, both labels distributed by Hardwax, are much more dub-influenced and less techno-orientated than the duo's previous, and more legendary, dub-techno recordings as Basic Channel and Maurizio. The latter, the Maurizio/M-Series releases are often incorrectly identified as Von Oswald's solo work, but these are as much Von Oswald and Ernestus projects as the other releases. Where those earlier recordings synthesized a Detroit-influenced style of minimal techno with dub-reggae bass lines, the late-'90s Rhythm & Sound productions emphasized the dub-reggae aesthetic rather than the more dancefloor-orientated techno sound of the early-'90s Basic Channel and Maurizio recordings. Thus, the Rhythm & Sound records weren't quite as popular or well-known as the duo's Basic Channel recordings, which instead retained their popularity over the years, becoming quite legendary and oft-cited within the techno scene. Nonetheless, Von Oswald and Ernestus' Rhythm & Sound work prevailed into the early 2000s, being compiled on "Rhythm & Sound" (2001) and this album "Showcase" (1998). More on their releases, whether technodub on Basic Channel or their Rhythm & Sound and classic Wackie's (re)releases can be found at www.basicchannel.com. This album is in the once very popular showcase style, where each song is immediately followed by its dub. Dominican born Paul St.Hilaire has a smooth voice that suits the deep bass and minimalistic organ and percussion effects, digital techno/house/dub-riddims as if it were meant to be combined, and this particular pairing of his voice with the minimal techhouse dubs in showcase style enhances both the sung and version tracks. From opener "Never Tell You" through to the version of the almost spoken instead of sung "Why" this album is one perfect aural trip, with the riddims repetitive and on the brink of causing a trance and the smooth, almost in the riddims integrated voice of Paul St.Hilaire delivering his lovers and conscious roots lyrics as the icing on the cake.