featured REVIEW


Dabrye Two/Three Ghostly International • 2006

With the follow-up to his 2001's debut instrumental album, Ann Arbor, Michigan native Tad Mullinix, returns with the second installment of the 'Three' series, as his alter ego, hip-hop producer Dabrye (pronounce 'Dabree') on Ghostly International.

Crafted in the art of making house music -making a name in the Detroit area-, he leaves a futuristic mark and a big fat electronic fingerprint on this album.

Describing Dabrye's music as futuristic and electronic might arouse visions of cold, soulless music, but with a series of warm bass lines, gloomy keyboard sounds and tinged snares, Dabrye manages to enact a tasteful melange of avant-garde, distorted funkiness, seemingly influenced by the early 80's hip-hop and electro marriages. Prefuse79, some RJD2 and a dash of El-P are comparisons that can be made, but to describe Dabrye's production one should at least also include influences such as Dilla and even Kraftwerk ('Machines pt 1').

Earlier released singles such as 'Air' with MF Doom and 'Game Over' with Jay Dee and Phat Kat received applause on all benches from the progressive-minded hip-hop lover. 'Air' has an eerie synth loop and clean snares accompanied by futuristic imagery of Doom 'The beat is sicker than the blood in ya stool'. Isn't this Viktor Vaughn by the way? 'Game Over' is a minimalistic beat that enfolds towards the middle with a twisted, industrial synth tweak, showing clearly influences of the one featured on the track 'Wanna walk to walk, well, make sure ya shoes fit, tight yo laces, bwoy'!

The line-up of guests clearly adds a livelier dimension to the already energetic soundscape; Vast Aire on 'That's What's Up' ('You really wanna know how I get fly? My words are gravity'') and Beans on 'Nite Eats Day' ('Cuz I hate the fact my daughter's mother is givin me problems, cause I wasn't in love, just out of condoms') each lend their progressiveness to the whole, while, besides Jay Dee and Phat Kat, Guilty Simpson (dropping boisterous rhymes a la 'Fuck it I'm hot, cocky or not, I'm tired of being humble, from here on out I'm brash' and 'My lifestyle guarantees me a lot of sluts') on 'Special', Waajeed and Ta'Raach on 'Pressure' and Big Tone on 'Get Live' bring out that Detroit dirrtiness.

Mullinix shows with this album that Detroit holds it down on every level, from dance music to hip-hop and back. 'Two/Three' is one of this year's freshest surprises.

POSTED ON 06|25|2006 by cpf

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