Album review: Terai by DubRaJah
Terai by DubRaJah is the ninth release from Sussex based netlabel Angel Dust Records. DubRaJah.(real name Sergey Gabbasov) is a social anthropologist, specialising in the peoples of the Himalayan region, director of several ethnographic films about different cultures of Asia and Africa, a traveller and a musician.
The album has nine tracks. the opener, La Voix d’Initiation, is less than a minute and a half long and is chilled, dubby electronica. Papua Dub follows and maintains the chilled vibe but it sits over a bouncy, almost ska-tempo riddim. Bali Dub introduces some hand drums and a steppers riddim that builds in intensity, joined by ghostly voices (from the Balinese Kecak or Monkey Chant, I presume…). Mentawai Dub follows, the nearest to a traditional dub tune so far, with a solid skank keeping things bouncy. Sumatra Dub starts with some atmospheric samples and a funky hand drum rhythm that remains as the bedrock of the groove throughout. There’s a little bounce to this track, making it a head-nodder. Voice samples open Ladakh Dub, followed by an Eastern instrument of some kind, wailing over an uptempo reggae groove and trading licks with the voice samples. Tharu Dub returns us to a more atmospheric, ambient sound enveloping a repetitive bass rundown and gradually getting louder. Newars Dub features a bhangra beat but isn’t really a bhangra tune. It’s a while before a short, stabbing, skank joins to ride the reggae bassline and remind us we’re still in dub territory despite the transglobal influences. The album closes with Nepal, a piece that starts quietly before the rhythm slides in amid the spacey synth sounds and provides enough of a dance beat to put this tune in electronica territory.
This is an album that isn’t demanding listening – this would make great background listening but with enough detail to keep you entertained if you want to focus on it and enough ethnotronic flavour to stimulate any jaded ears out there. Well worth downloading.
Get Terai HERE