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Dr. Isreal: Inna City Pressure

It would be easy to give Dr. Israel props for incorporating drum-and-bass beats into Inna City Pressure (Mutant Sound System, MSS 0043-2 63:01). After all, hearing the familiar polyrhythms drop into the Doctors disc opening a cappella is a nice jolt for the jaded. But then again, drum-and-bass doesn’t need any more introductions.

Fortunately Israel has other sonic and thematic tricks up his sleeve, resulting in a disc that rises above the often indulgent knob twisting common among the newer dubheads. The churning “Crisis,” with its dementedly processed vocals, recalls Public Enemy’s “Bomb Squad” at its most visionary. Israel makes good use of harmonica and keyboards on the floating “Survivor” and takes on thud metal on “The Dr. Versus the Wizard,” its stop-start power chords slicing through the hyperactive beatology. “Israel,” on the other hand, hints at the sludgy funk of the shamefully under-recognized Little Axe (if you can find a copy of their 1994 release The Wolf That House Built, count your blessings), and “Life Goes On in the Ghetto” is a cautionary urban fable, told over a wistful piano figure. if you thought dub was all alpha wave nod and blunt-friendly beats, this disc should change your mind in a hurry.

Originally Published