dub trio 88.
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Don't be fooled by their name, the Dub Trio are not the latest in the stream of reggae artists to be stopping off in Israel. In fact, crowds at their two Tel Aviv shows this weekend are more likely to be found moshing or stage-diving to the band's spiky guitar riffs rather than swaying their dreadlocks from side-to-side. The Brooklyn-based three-piece take their inspiration from the freestyle techniques of dub mixing originally pioneered in Jamaica, using it to experiment with punk and alternative rock, eventually mutating into something entirely unique.
Their current tour sees the Dub Trio riding the wave off their third album Another Sound is Dying, which takes its title from a line in Tenor Saw's still popular 1985 dancehall anthem "Ring the Alarm." The mostly instrumental long-player features a guest appearance from former Faith No More vocalist and musical chameleon, Mike Patton, with Patton revisiting his thrash metal roots. The Trio's collaboration with Patton stretches back a number of years when drummer Joe Tomino, bassist Stu Brooks and guitarist D. P. Holmes formed the backing band for his Peeping Tom project - during which the stage was shared by artists ranging from The Who to Gnarls Barkley. Patton himself won over new fans in Israel recently when he performed at the critically-acclaimed John Zorn Festival last month.
Tracks like "Drive by Dub" or "Casting out the Nines" could sit comfortably alongside the works of Jamaican dub producers King Tubby or Augustus Pablo, with their generous use of echo chambers, melodica and Hammond keyboards. But the Dub Trio are not the first to combine the aggression of rock music with the psychedelia of dub reggae. The two genres have been unsuspecting bedfellows ever since punk came onto the scene in the late 1970s, with The Clash's Guns of Brixton and White Man in Hammersmith Palais. It wasn't long before musicians began to forge careers by mixing together the two ingredients. One of the first groups to do so was dreadlocked US-hardcore punk rockers Bad Brains in the early 1980s who were followed by the likes of Rage Against the Machine and Fishbone the following decade. The Dub Narcotic Sound System, fronted by alternative rock icon Calvin Johnson, were perhaps the first artists from outside the reggae genre to follow the tradition of releasing seven-inch vinyl singles featuring the standard title track backed with an instrumental "dub version" on the flip side, all recorded at their custom-built studio in Olympia, Washington State.
The Dub Trio's stay in Israel begins with a live show in the basement of central Tel Aviv's Levontin 7 on Thursday night with support from self-styled Israeli "circus-core" rockers, the Midnight Peacocks. The following night the Dub Trio is to be joined by Israeli dubstep DJs Nee Closing and Skillatone, who will warm up the venue for a mad Friday night party.
Dub Trio play at Levontin 7, Thursday, May 8 and Friday, May 9 at 11 p.m. both nights. Tickets cost NIS 70/80. For more details call (03) 560-5084 or visit www.dubtrio.com.