Gone Beyond / Mumbles: Duet for Space and Time
Content (L)abel / Ooohh! That's Heavy Recordings

A Duet For Space and Time, Content (L)abel's latest collaboration with fellow California-based label Ooohh! That's Heavy Recordings, splits vinyl sides between Gone Beyond (Santa Fe, New Mexico-based beat-smith Dahvin Bugas) and Mumbles (Californian hip-hop producer Matthew Fowler). Not surprisingly, the EP's six cuts possess the rambunctiousness characteristic of Dday One's Content (L)abel releases, and the material likewise slots itself into a zone where instrumental hip-hop, electronics, samples, and classic jazz riffs collide.

Gone Beyond starts us off on a rather foreboding “Collision Course” where brooding piano runs drift alongside a swirl of downtempo beats and psychedelic atmospheres. The ominous vibe continues on into “Sky Burial,” though now things feel a bit more stable thanks to a tight headnodding beat pattern and more exotic, too, courtesy of a sinuous flute motif. There's a cosmic vibe to Gone Beyond's material, and it's simply not due to titles like “The Cosmic Within Ourselves,” as Bugas consistently pulls the material away from terra firma by slathering his sax and piano riffs with all kinds of trippy treatments and effects. At the same time, the tracks never come apart at the seams when beats are never far away; no matter how wild things get during “The Edge of Space,” for example, the beats that slam so forcefully throughout the track ensure it's solidly grounded.

In contrast to the four short cuts on side one, Mumbles presents two longer ones on the flip. The EP's oddity is his opening salvo, “Time is Running Out,” for the simple fact that it uses a charging Motown-styled drum pattern (think a slightly sped-up “You Can't Hurry Love”) as its rhythmic backbone—not the kind of thing one expects on an EP whose beats are generally more hip-hop oriented. At almost nine minutes, the epic meditation “Space Between Worlds” perhaps offers a more complete portrait of the Mumbles sound, especially when it adds to its downtempo pulse the crystalline flow of a hypnotic vibes solo. The twenty-seven-minute release, limited to 350 ten-inch vinyl copies with the picture disc displaying original artwork by Brooklyn-based Shane “Dwarf Baby” Ingersoll, may be over quickly but the ride is certainly scenic and packed with detail.

June 2012