Matisyahu vs. Dub Trio | 02.22 | NY

Words & Images by: Jesse Borrell

Matisyahu vs. Dub Trio :: 02.22.09 :: The Bell House :: Brooklyn, NY

Stu Brooks - Dub Trio | 02.22 :: Brooklyn
"We talked about this concert for a bit with Matis. He always had it in the back of his mind to play with us and it just came about that were all in town at the same time. We've all been trying to make it happen for almost two years now," asserted drummer Joe Tomino of Dub Trio just before heading on stage at Brooklyn's Bell House.

Performing without Matisyahu , the Brooklyn-based Dub Trio began the evening by tearing through a short offering of originals that combined old school reggae tempos with electronic samples and turn-on-a-dime alternative metal schemes. The noise made me think of how much I had missed the brash - and often thoughtfully reckless - tendencies from past punk pioneers missing in today's attempts at mainstream hard rock.

In almost a completely different voyage within the boundaries of ambience and space, the overall mood mellowed as keyboardist Rob Marscher, guitarist Aaron Dugan (both of Matisyahu's band), and Matisyahu joined in.

"It's wide open. There's no history here. There's not much of a foundation, which is great," admitted Tomino. "We picked through ideas collectively that we both knew, more towards older rhythms - reggae and dance hall rhythms - that are neither Matisyahu nor Dub Trio songs. We ended up choosing music that we were all familiar with to riff off of. There's a lot of improv involved tonight, which is fresh and keeps it interesting."

The quintet flew through entirely unique improvisations and a few Matisyahu originals, seldom taking a break before a sold out crowd and the countless many tuning in via the Internet.

"It's really a wide open evening," continued Tomino. "I wouldn't say it's really structured, but I would say that there's a lot of dub involved, a lot of effects, a lot of ambiance - just letting things naturally occur. And that's the beauty of improv. It could be bad or it could be amazing, and everybody's all at the same point and we have to go over the hill all together."


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