Kaly Live Dub Lightin' The Shadows

One of France's very best dub bands, Kaly Live Dub have dropped a much different album than their last effort. As with many dub acts, they've had to confront the usurpation of the term by dubstep. Unlike their peers, they've successfully incorporated wobble bass into their new approach. Somewhat reliant on ethno samples on their previous release, Lightin' The Shadows places even more care into the songs. Classic reggae skank still rules, but the variations on wobble and their nimble syncopation and adeptness at switching between double- and single-time rhythms are masterfully accomplished. The extremely high-tech production is both futuristic and roots-y, displaying a mechanical sound and cohesive band groove in equal measure. The two parts of this record are successfully articulated, the opening "Shadows" section being much darker-toned than the "Light" section. Highlights are "Wackies," a fitting tribute to NYC producer Bullwackie, and the hip-hop-inspired "Conflicts," featuring a fierce contribution by K to the I. Though it's been a long wait since their last disc, it's been well worth it. (Jarring Effects)