Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

cover art


Roots and Wire

(Wagon Repair; US: 28 Oct 2008)

Scott Montieth makes music that is basically anti-dubstep. Frustrated by the fact that most recent dub techno has been “minor key, sad, dark shit,” Montieth wishes to remind us all that while dub is a production style/aesthetic, it’s one that was originally developed by people involved in making reggae music. And while reggae can indeed by minor key, sad, dark shit, most of it isn’t. So “Rise Again” opens Roots and Wire with a Burial-esque throb before bringing in Paul St. Hilaire (aka Tikiman) to joyfully toast over it. Most of the album—the melodica on the title track, the techno-Rasta drumming on “Grounation (Berghain Drum Jack),” the Vocalcity style pulsing of “Deep Structure”—seeks out the area where he can most productively blend roots, ambient dub and house music together, and the resulting blur is loose and joyous enough that the cross-pollination seems like the most natural thing in the world.

Montieth’s work as Deadbeat isn’t a million miles away from some of his contemporaries (in fact, calling this album Pole-meets-Luomo is reductive but kind of nails it), but it’s striking how the two best tracks on Roots and Wire are the ones with St. Hilaire. The closing “Babylon Correction” especially makes you wonder how great a roots album by a singer open-minded enough to have Montieth produce could be. For now, though, we should be more than happy to have him working on his own.


Related Articles
19 Nov 2012
Like its film industry, Canada’s contribution to the electronic music scene is understated despite the quality. But if you go mining, you’ll find diamonds.
By David Abravanel, Timothy Gabriele, Mike Newmark, Alan Ranta, and Dominic Umile
21 Dec 2011
Our electronic music enthusiasts pick highlights from a year when the genre ranged widely and wildly from ADD dance music to the last great pure dubstep record to an industrial cacophony that's a proper soundtrack to a world in turmoil.
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2015 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.