Dadub: You Are Eternity
Stroboscopic Artefacts

Stroboscopic Artefacts has released few full-lengths since its 2009 inception, which makes the arrival of its third, coming after Lucy's Wordplay For Working Bees and Xhin's Sword (both 2011), something of an event. And as it turns out, You Are Eternity by Dadub duo Daniele Antezza and Giovanni Conti is an event but more for its quality than for its status as Stroboscopic Artefacts' third album. Without question one of the best electronica albums I've come across in recent days, You Are Eternity is a seventy-four-minute exercise in alchemical ferocity that at times plays like a punishing plunge into the deepest recesses of the psyche. Originating entirely from digital sources and samples and recorded over a two-year period, the album's dozen tracks have been mixed to play as a continuous albeit episodic whole rather than as separate pieces.

Enhanced by a Fela Kuti sample (“Music is a spiritual gift, and those who misuse it, die young”), “Vibration” eases the unsuspecting listener in slowly until he/she is thoroughly trapped within Dadub's viral sound-world. The music gets tougher after that beatless scene-setter when “Truth” underlays samples of Henry Waxman questioning Alan Greenspan (“And my question for you is simple: Were you wrong?”) with a tribal-electronic pulse and storm-drenched atmospherics and when “Life” smothers a relentless beat thrust with an even more lethal overlay of nightmarish noise. The word epic might be overused, but in the case of Dadub's recording its usage is appropriate, and it's not because of the You Are Eternity title and track titles such as “Death” and “Existence”: epic in Dadub's case applies because the duo's sound is so multi-layered, dense, and dramatic. Nowhere is that more clear than during “Transfer,” a crushing throwdown featuring additional production by Ninja Tunes artist King Cannibal (Dylan Richards).

Dadub's music thumps, seethes, and swaggers with single-minded determination, at times flirting with dub (“Path”) and at other times techno (“Circle,” which features additional production by Tony Scott, who records for Stroboscopic Artefacts under the name Edit Select). A few beatless settings do ease the tension and slow one's heartbeat (“Unbroken Continuity,” for example) and the album does exit on a note of surprising uplift with the peaceful serenade “Iridescent Fragment,” but for the most part You Are Eternity is an unrelenting and powerful ride.

February 2013