Dub Voyage continues Canadian-bred Dutch resident Ryan Moore's exploration of new roots dub under his one-man-band alias Twilight Circus Dub Sound System. The album follows last year's excellent "versions" collection, Dub Plate Selection Vol. 2, and the full-length Horsie, which occasionally incorporated a modern electronic approach into the dub template. Dub Voyage, the eighth Twilight release (on Moore's own M records), showcases a more reverent sound.
Cut at Berlin's Dubplates and Mastering, home to legendary underground sister labels Basic Channel and Chain Reaction, the album's warm analog tones make it a delight to listen to. The opener "Acetate" (RealAudio excerpt) is a subaquatic escapade, as Moore soaks a lilting melody in Hammond organ swells. The title track (RealAudio excerpt) reveals his electronic leanings, incorporating a Morricone-like xylophone melody that scurries atop a rumbling bass line.
The ghost of recently passed Augustus Pablo visits "Wareika" (RealAudio excerpt), as a melodica refrain surfaces over a warbling tape-delay piano. The closer, "Massive" (RealAudio excerpt), drops the heavy riddims, with a sublime bass hook anchoring the overdriven drums. Flanged organ chords glide by, fading in and out of the mix.
Dub Voyage shows Moore pursuing his own vision of dub, distilling his songs down to their essence while referencing the past to define a new music. Where many of his "new dub" contemporaries rely on studio effects to define their style, Moore crafts transcendent tracks loaded with substance as well as style. Combined with a deft studio hand, Moore has fashioned a fresh heavyweight sound.