Alter Echo & E3: Nubian Dub: Egoless Remix + Dj Madd Remix 10"

Alter Echo & E3: Warning Dub: Ishan Sound Special + Egoless Remix 10"

These latest Khaliphonic ten-inch releases grew out of the choice Alter Echo & E3 single on ZamZam that saw “Nubian Dub” partnered with “Warning Dub.” It turned out to be a huge hit, its 600 copies selling out quickly and the release fondly regarded as the favourite ZamZam by many. The tunes now receive a second go-round in the form of remix treatments, with “Nubian Dub” tackled by Egoless and DJ Madd on the first and Ishan Sound and the tireless Egoless taking runs at “Warning Dub” on the second. Like ZamZam, Khaliphonic is a strictly vinyl operation, so once these 800-copy pressings (their desirability enhanced by striking geometric designs on the sleeves) are gone, they're literally gone.

Up first, Egoless's “Nubian Dub” mix is a heavy, tripped-out, and funk-afied affair whose sexy, slow-motion skank and minimal bass pulse prove well-nigh irresistible. Slathered by atmospheric dub effects, voice echo, and a ghostly saxophone, the tune hits the sweet spot for every one of its four minutes and thirty-eight seconds. Making for an interesting comparison, DJ Madd's B-side catches the ear with a lethal array of thunderous bass drops, tablas, and a rapidly flickering, swizzle-stick drum pulse. That Alter Echo & E3's original ends up sounding like two entirely different cuts isn't a bad thing in this case.

The second ten-inch is slightly more experimental in design by comparison. “Warning Dub” certainly wastes no time making a case for itself, with Rider Shafique's echo-drenched musings getting Ishan Sound's re-reub moving before a militant stepping groove takes over, its take-no-prisoners charge beefed up with ammo-firing snares and pounding kick drums. Re-instating a more groove-centric sensibility on the single, Egoless's treatment grounds itself in a thunderous, slow-motion swagger deepened by a crawling bass pulse and smattered with all kinds of atmospheric derangement. It's more dubstep than dub proper, but no one'll likely complain when the bottom end's so lethal.

February 2016