Artist:The Projector Mix
The Projector Mix was Mike Hodgson's alias before he teamed up with Paddy Free and their releases were no longer contained to their native New Zealand but gained worldwide notoriety in the dub scene as Pitch Black. This retrospective release covers material that Mike composed, collaborated and re-mixed between the years of 1990 and 1996.
The album opens with 'Marshall Law Dub' the first of two collaborations with Hallelujah Picassos. The track begins in a manner not too dissimilar to Depth Charge's releases of the time, with samples that sound like they've been pulled straight out of Kung Fu and Blaxploitation flicks soon accompanied by the anticipated traditional dub reggae sounds and vox. The second ' Principal Dub' drops the gunfire and sirens and replaces them with a more soulful vocal stab, that aside it continues in the traditional dub reggae vein closer to King Tubby than the more electronic dub of Pitch Black.
The album moves away from the collaborations at this point with a trio of re-mixes. First up is Mike's take on 'Began Dub' by Nemesis Dub Systems which sounds like a chopped up industrial post-punk track slowed down and given the dub treatment in an almost Andrew Weatherall like fashion. Next is his re-mix of 'Orbital Dub' by another New Zealand act that's more than likely caught your attention Salmonella Dub. Where the under-laying atmospheric synths behind the dubbed out guitar, keys and sax show a sprinkling of a few of the Pitch Black signature sounds. This section of the release closes with the re-mix of Sound Foundation's 'Lethal Dub' a spacey Mad Professor'esque dub that's slow and minimal in places and bass heavy and distorted at others.
The rest of the release is strictly solo material beginning with 'I am a Wanderer' a bass heavy dub with rolling percussions and sequences that could arguably be categorised as dub-step before it's time. This is followed by 'Like The Angels of Dub' which layers sampled dialogue over rock guitar and hard hitting percussion. While 'Like The Angels of Light' begins as though it's a lighter flip-side guitar wise that said the percussion although more electronic is just as heavy. Next up is 'Miro Pump' which at times is slow and atmospheric with an eastern feel but there's plenty of distorted fx pumped in for good measure. The album closes with the aptly named 'The Key to Laughter' which is quite simply dubbed out laughter in various pitches before the bass and percussion is employed.
Overall I think you need to place this album in the period it was created as at times it's far more minimal than most of the multi-layerd dubs released in more recent times. However, if you're a fan of Mike's output it's an interesting insight into his early works and will probably appeal to fans of dub in general.
Reviewed by Woodzee.
Additionally, if any fans of Dubmission Records output are in London on Friday the 11th of September their head honcho Crazy Baldhead is putting on a free 4 hour DJ set at Camden's InSpiral Lounge which kicks off at 21:30.