Friday, February 04, 2011

Black Dub - "The Birth of Bellavista Nights"

I came across the Black Dub project following a feature in the latest Sound on Sound.  Black Dub is the latest project from Daniel Lanois, who produced The Unforgettable Fire, The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and a stack of other U2 and non-U2 stuff.

From Sound on Sound:
One very noticeable feature that unites both Le Noise and Black Dub is that they appear to be painted with fairly broad brush-strokes, using raw, free performances. In the past, Lanois has been responsible for his fair share of layered, very detailed, almost perfectionist records, works that seem to embody his one‑time adage that an image of beauty is greatly enhanced by the introduction of a piece of grit. On Le Noise and Black Dub Lanois appears to have reversed his maxim: they sound more like grit greatly enhanced by pieces of beauty.
“Thank you for noticing the qualities of grit and freedom in these new albums,” replies Lanois. “I like the broad brush-stroke analogy. It’s a very painterly way of looking at things, and I love for music to have pictures. That part of my work has never changed: I like things to be cinematic. I also think that the detail is always there in my work."

Lanois has always had interesting idea about music and art, and how to get there, and this is no different.  There was lots of talk in the interview, both from Lanois and from his co-producer Mark Howard about the importance of capturing the actual performance of the instrument, and how the technology was really secondary to the music that you were recording.  I hadn't heard of Black Dub before, but it was enough for me to go searching.

It's interesting stuff, and here's one great example - three and a half minutes of perfectly captured guitar nestled in those Lanois delays.  Just an amazingly perfect guitar sound, a great rolling riff, and a story all in one noise.  It's the sort of thing you want to have on vinyl, with an immensely expensive hifi to play it through.

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