Oh, it’s Sunday already?
This nice little label definitely has my attention. Vuo. Founded by dub techno producer Jukka Hänninen a.k.a. TM Shuffle and located in Tampere, Finland, it focuses on a style that is right on the driving outer edge of Dub Techno. They have a pretty solid list of artists including Marco Cassanelli, Ohm and the label boss himself.
Their eighth release adds another household name to the roster – Monoder. Another guy from Finland, of course, and a veteran of Dub Techno. His debut on Statik Entertainment in 2003 is a much sought after gem. For the “Sunday Dubs” he teams up with TM Shuffle for two delicious Dub Techno excursions. It’s not the first collaboration of the two – they already shared credits two years ago on Hydergine and Kaelan’s Ranges label.
As the titles of the tracks already suggest, “Storm” and “Calm” find different approaches to the genre – “Storm” is bordering on driving functional Minimal (some folks seem to label this Minimal Dub now), “Calm” is a great floater for very late hours and is the track that most accurately fits the “Sunday Dubs” title.
The A side is a little more tricky – if only regarding the artist. You know there is nothing much to find out about someone when even Decks Records refers to the artist as being “mysterious”. Silver Ash. Try googling that and you will get a truckload of links to some Chinese teen glam band. Ugh. On Discogs you only get three entries for this name, and one of them is definitely a false entry – unless Silver Ash turned from Experimental Rock to Dub Techno somewhere between 2011 and 2017 and relocated from Brooklyn to Tampere. Very unlikely.
The solution is a lot more simple. There’s an Australian label of the same name, releasing a string of very dubby Techno 12″es by an “Unknown Artist”, including an Echo Inspectors remix, a fellow Australian. On Soundcloud we hear more about the Silver Ash releases: “Silver Ash was created as a side-project to release small quantities of high-quality dub techno vinyl.” Whose side project then? Echo Inspectors? A little bit of mystery remains.
Whoever it is – “Sycamore” is high class, lavish and elegant, doing what good Dub Techno should do – provide forward motion and a good dose of tranquility and bliss. This is almost traditional in the best meaning of the word – the only thing that doesn’t let this turn fully nostalgic is the drive and presence of the drum tracks. It might still be Saturday night, so to speak.
It gets a little additional like for a comment on the label: “This is not a Various artists release.” Your wish is my command. Very classy group effort.
Release for review:
SILVER ASH, TM SHUFFLE & MONODER – SUNDAY DUBS – VUO RECORDS – VUO008