NYC-based five piece afro-dub band Super Hi-Fi put out their eight track debut album Dub to the Bone in early December last year. The title refers to one of the band’s main instruments – the trombone. And they use not one, but two trombones to create a warm idiosyncratic sound drenched in vintage and analog recording techniques.
Dub to the Bone is a grim and striking instrumental soundtrack to the New York City nightlife, and as usual with dub-influenced albums, the swirling sonic landscape is soaked with echo and reverb.
Some of the songs have a superb interplay between the rhythm section and the trombones, for example in Neolithic, and a bunch also have playful tempo and chord changes, as in Tri Tro Tro (Beverly Road All-Stars Remix), which goes from brimstone and fire to a joyful mento style and then back again.
The energy is high throughout and gives the album something of a punk feeling, especially in the original version of Tri Tro Tro, which starts as a rock song with furious guitars, but suddenly changes into something completely different.
Dub to the Bone is not a conventional dub album. But that’s also the set’s main strength. It’s a fascinating and intriguing musical journey far from conservative dub and reggae.