By Jeremy Quintin
Elm Staff Writer
Today, I’m here to review the latest dub reggae album release by Mike Pelanconi, known as Prince Fatty, and Hollie Cook, entitled the exceptionally clever name of “Prince Fatty Presents Hollie Cook in Dub.” However, what’s going to make this review different than usual is the fact that this album has yet to be released in full, and so what I have to review is a collection of previews with a very promising sound. The album, judging from what’s available now, will be a collection of new and reworked tracks by Hollie Cook, all sporting the use of vocal samples, reverberated sounds, echo effects, and dominating bass lines.
In fact, the album itself advertises its extensive use of these characteristics overtop of Hollie’s older songs as key to the album’s creation. This is another thing which characterizes electronically remixed songs, especially in dub music: effects out the wazoo. Prince Fatty’s work is no exception. Each preview is embellished with so much affectation to the sound that, at times, the echoes come across louder than the initial note. The result, combined with the drums is much like floating on the air, or drifting in the sea, with the beat swinging against your ears like waves knocking your body around in the ocean.
At other times a buoyant alien sound will graze by the ear, adding dimension to the music which otherwise would be a relatively flat use of basic instruments. Thanks to those crazy sound effects, this problem is easily dodged.
The use of this sort of affectation is common now in music, with the emphasis on uniqueness over melody. Not that there is no melody in this album. To the contrary, the bass is very prominent and unusually creative in Fatty’s work. While most other genres don’t allow the bass instrument to expand pass four or five notes, each of Fatty’s previews incorporate the composition of sounds as low as 50 hertz (also known as sub-bass) for the lead instrument. The sound is warm, filling, and goes well with the quick staccato guitar here and there.
The smooth downtempo rhythm of Prince Fatty’s work is incredibly relaxing. As for Hollie Cook, the use of her vocal samples is, to be honest, not much worth listening to. She speaks about two phrases per track, often unrelated to each other and without much meaning. They sound like excerpts out of a person’s stray thoughts rather than the lyrics of time and effort.
However the full effect of the album won’t be available until April 23. In the meantime, checking out a couple of dub reggae samples strikes me as a great way to celebrate today’s date.