Dub Is a Weapon | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Dub Is a Weapon 

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Some musicians live to show off their chops, making sure you're always aware of just how tricky the tricky parts are. But the guys in Brooklyn's Dub Is a Weapon don't seem to care a whit about impressing anyone. They come from a sprawling scene of overlapping funky New York bands (Antibalas, Fu-Arkist-Ra, Fire of Space) that are in it for the jams--they pack too many bodies onstage to support a lot of ego. On the group's debut (out on Dub Patrol) the personnel--hot-shit players all, including dub producer and guitarist Dave Hahn, Antibalas's Stuart Douglas Bogie on reeds, and legendary Jamaican percussionist Larry McDonald--radiate the laid-back confidence it takes to render these insanely syncopated stop-and-start grooves with grainy-film-stock warmth. Kaleidoscopic shifts break up the thick, slinky Afrobeat phrases with balmy bits of Rasta laissez-faire, metallic scrapes and twitters, chassis-rattling dub beats that stretch the limits of rhythm maintenance, and post-Miles Davis psychedelia. A heavy-lidded haze hangs over it all, but still the album sparkles. This is the group's first performance in Chicago; Organ Wolf and Scale open. Saturday, January 10, 10 PM, Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln; 773-404-9494.

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