Dub Is a Weapon
Dub reggae is the most studio-oriented of musics. Just about all of its stars are DJs and producers, not performers. So it’s a treat to listen to Brooklyn bandleader and guitarist Dave Hahn and his band Dub Is a Weapon’s new CD Vaporized. A former dub engineer, Hahn kicked around the New York music scene, playing ska with The Slackers and the Stubborn All-Stars, and Afrobeat with Antibalas, before taking on the challenge of figuring out how to create a live dub-reggae band. After a lot of experimentation, Hahn was able to focus on each musician as if he/she was a fader on the mixing board, cuing them to drop out and come back in, which replicated the dub mix. Dub Is a Weapon creates a bass line, and then builds from there. The psychedelic reggae produced on Vaporized has the modal jazz appeal of John Coltrane. On “Turmoil,” Maria Eisen takes a sexy saxophone solo, and as the band keeps the funk going for more than seven minutes, the sax has a lot of room to play. With its trippy vibe that is both edgy and filled with fire, this album is built for the dance floor.