Super Hi-Fi give the trombone plenty of space

Jacket-front_100dpiNYC-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.

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