Two CDs, loads of guests, cool remixes, enhanced video content, and plenty of dub. What could be better?
In the United States, an automobile company used to air car commercials with the slogan, "Who could ask for anything more?" That very question could easily accompany Dubblestandart's 2006 release, Are You Experienced. Want music from a talented and experienced band? Dubblestandart's been making music since the '90s; they just want to know if you're experienced. If so, are you interested in dub and electronica? Well, they've got it covered. Worried that dub and electronica songs on a given album will sound alike and lack variety? It won't happen here. Pure dub tracks ("Heights of Paranoia", "The Message", "The Rhythm") keep company with the flavors of rock, R&B, and house ("Everything is Go", "Love Can Grow", "Preemptive Dub"). How cool would it be for Are You Experienced to feature skilled vocalists to mix things up? No problem. They've got Noa More on "Love Can Grow" and "Angels Fly", Gudrun on "Senses of Woman" and the spectacular "Summer Rain", Ari Up on "Island Girl", and G. Rizo on "The Rhythm". What's more, Dubblestandart offers Are You Experienced as a two-disc set. The first disc comprises the new album, while the second disc showcases unreleased versions and remixes. Who better to create remixes than hot talents like Sly & Robbie, Mikey Dread, Mad Professor, and Dreadzone? For greedy listeners -- like myself -- who, in spite of all these goodies, still want more, the second disc contains three bonus videos. In a word, the entire package is delightful, from the intriguing cover right down to the engagingly strange dub outro of sound effects titled "Star Spangled Dub". On disc 2, there are two versions of Heavy Heavy Monster Dub) -- the Dreadzone Instrumental Remix, the Manasseh Instrumental Remix, and the Sly & Robbie Remix. All three are well done and they've been reinterpreted so that each one sounds completely different from the others. Dubblestandart hit the jackpot here. What more can you ask for?