Ras Command: Serious Smokers

ras-ss.jpg (19k) Ras Command: Serious Smokers
(Waveform - 2000)

While these eleven Serious Smokers are obviously influenced by Jamaica's renowned reggae/dub scene, they are actually created in Germany by Alex Buchal and his Ras Command. Warm, beaty funtime tunes which capture the vibe if not exactly the heart of the Island's finest.

The smoky groove begins with Interlude No. 1 (puffin mix), where scritchy hip hop beats are overlain with free-floating bass and occasional rasta-speak phrases. Subsonic riffs and upbeat guitarsounds empower Pirate (cee mix remix) with a laid-back energy. Tracks like the bouncy Acid Dub and Moo Dub rework standard dub-style basslines into spunky new electro-variations.

The Love Dub (drum mix) (6:56) may be familiar to some, having previously appeared on the similarly flavored Earthjuice compilation. Greendub (3:54) echoes with rhythmic pulsations and and ghostly electronics beneath wandering basstones.

Rippling electronics flutter in and out of Education, as do intermittent e-piano notes, a buzzing synth riff and mid-tempo bass and beats. The pace is picked up in Revolution in Ras; dancier drum patterns from tribalized percussion stir unrest behind the dreamily wafting synth washes and pulsing low end. The disc concludes by Slippin' into an abstractly shimmering ambient mode, which is soon pumped up by bubbly bass and slow beats.

Ras Command can't claim to make authentic island sounds, but when the electro-reggae groove is this much fun, who really cares? The light charms of 8.3-rated Serious Smokers burn up 54.5 minutes, leaving behind a sweet residue and a blissful feeling.

As you can see and hear, Waveform is transmitting again. Stay tuned for more...

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This review posted May 29, 2000

AmbiEntrance © 2000-1997 by David J Opdyke (except CD cover art, rights retained by original owners).