Various: From the Powerhouse

Meteosound, 2006

This odd vinyl EP juxtaposes the otherworldly philosophies of graffiti legend Rammellzee with dubby electronic music from Berlin. First up on “Drag Racing,” DCC (Death Comet Crew) provide a funky, guitar-heavy jam for Rammellzee to rant over. It’s the wildest, punkiest hip-hop around. (Track down the excellent Bi-Conicals Of The Rammellzee on Gomma for more of the same style.) “Dreaming U” by Siberian duo Echo Depth Finders is cut-up hip-hop in the Prefuse 73 vein. An MC stutters over a dubby bassline and a glitchy beat. Daniel Meteo and Tom Thiel’s Bus project wraps up the A side with “Soundberg,” an uptempo, bass-heavy instrumental track full of sound effects.

The B side kicks off with Daniel Meteo’s “Dub Rock.” Guitar fragments and reverbed clicks swim in a rolling bass soup, making for a beautiful track. Micromate wraps up this supposed tribute to Jamaica’s Power House label with “Swoop.” It’s contemporary German electronic dub with a spasming bassline and computer bleeps.

This release is a real revelation, since I seldom hear music which explicitly links hip-hop with dub. Since Kool DJ Herc switched to funk breaks, a real schism has developed between the two sounds, but it’s good to know Berliners are still capable of making the connection.

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  1. I wish The Wire would post their Rammellzee interview online. It was in issue 242 (April, 2004).

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