Twilight Circus Dub Sound System, Horsie

Jeff Chang

By Jeff Chang

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Perhaps the best of all the millennial dub reggae revivalists, Twilight Circus Dub Sound System is in fact a one-man show: Ryan Moore, a goth refugee (Skinny Puppy, Legendary Pink Dots). Maybe his background gives his dub the perfect balance of analog mixology and noir mood; certainly, unpredictability is his trademark.

Dub revivalism at its most irie.

1999's Horsie, Moore's sixth release, catches him searching for a way to wed his rock background with his reggae interests. "Oats," for instance, seems to find the midpoint between Krautrock and dub. On "Romy," he works with three completely different themes: a Scientist-like space station under attack by electro-termites, a drifting Duane Eddy-ish guitar line, and a monster nyabinghi-tinged undercurrent. "Dance" floats "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" into a liquid techno-style groove. "KIK"'s drive recalls classic Revolutionaries at Channel One, but is suspended in an ambient chamber of glockenspiels. On Horsie, Moore pushes the element of surprise measure for measure so, unlike so many rote digi-dubbers, his thunderous riddims and subtly formed sounds disintegrate nostalgia into a landmark in post-modern dub.