Ascoltare vs Keith – Drugs (Dubbel)

Ascoltare vs Keith - Drugs

Ascoltare vs Keith - Drugs

Ascoltare’s debut album has just come out on Cambridge based Tripel Records. This CD however is the first release on Dubbel – Tripel’s CDR label subsidiary. It’s an intriguing package – a dinky 3″ CD in a plastic case, a polystyrene shape, and a mysterious bag of white powder (lengthy scientific analysis at D9 Laboratories has revealed it is almost certainly glucose powder).

Packaging aside, we have two mixes of a glitched-up rework of Kool Keith’s ‘Drugs’ – think Kid606’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ or Lexaunculpt’s minimalist rendering of ‘Fuck The Police’. Without originality on their side, Ascoltare struggle somewhat to pull it off.

Track one starts slowly with static building into a lose abstract rhythm. Kool Keith’s MCing is hard-edged and dark while his high wailed vocals sound tongue-in-cheek and have a Prince-like quality. Ascoltare have played it safe here and there’s little progression in this track.

The second mix takes it a step further with harsher digital production and migraine inducing noises. In this abstract arena Keith’s vocals sometimes seem superfluous – added as an afterthought. Although this track is more creatively structured it lacks cohesiveness.

It’s hard to believe more small labels haven’t explored the CDR concept – it’s the perfect format for ideas like this. The unique packaging and collectable nature of this release make it a sound investment – it’s bound to fetch double (or Dubbel!) its value on ebay, but maybe a glucose rush would improve the listening experience???

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19 March 2004

Suzie has posted 54 things