The Embassadors Coptic Dub

The Embassadors' second disc rolls up the frequent flyer miles of this transcontinental group into something a bit more potent than their initial disc. The sound is more band-like than before, despite being digital. The primary voice on the disc is the breathy-toned sax work of Hayden Chisholm. He recalls Ben Webster with his tone and inflections, but the compositions are super-chilled-out Dave Brubeck grooves gone Ethiopian. Tracks unfold gradually, with subtle dub mixing techniques that open up vast aural space. Chisholm's intimate tone draws the listener to the centre as other more indefinable textures swirl around. Unfortunately, while the atmosphere is wonderful and lush, the songs seem slight and the performances could use a bit more urgency. The mood is always this side of sleepy, and rarely is a deep dub gravitas achieved ― "Sierra Alone" being one tantalizing exception. This is still a good listen, but do not operate heavy machinery in the vicinity of the audio source. (Nonplace)