Mono Peninsula :: Tired Dub (ROHS!)

Mono Peninsula is strictly dub with a hint of IDM whereas Photophob lives firmly in the latter realm with aspects of dub applied to the production. It’s great to see an artist branch out and explore like Mono Peninsula does. I’m not alone in looking forward to more from this moniker and musician.

Mono Peninsula—alias of Photophob (aka Herwig Holzmann)—arrives with a new album via Berlin-based ROHS!. Tired Dub is a collection of dub tracks created entirely on hardware. It is also inaptly named for the music herein is mellow, semi-cerebral but entirely rewarding. The artist describes Tired Dub as the result of many tired late night sessions.

There’s a curious blend of neo-dub created by both spiritual and physical residents of Berlin as well as ex-pats living in the city such as Deadbeat, originally from Canada. Quite unlike the dub work of master Adrian Sherwood or Twilight Circus Sound System, this deeper vein explores some dark territory. It takes the essence of dub, the skeletal drum and bass roots of it, then extrapolates this into various experiments depending on the artist. Basic Channel has their own variant as does Deadbeat (for that matter so does the entire Silent Season label out of Vancouver). The variations are many but the intent is the same; search and find the infinite beat, the deep sleep of kick, hat and backbeat on three. Mono Peninsula does this expertly.

Ignorant ears might be forgiven for thinking this type of music is easy to produce but it is not. It takes a steady hand and mind to keep it simple and minimal while also engaging. To uneducated ears the music can slip by as so much aural wallpaper. But with attentive, related listening there emerges a floating quality that makes Mono Peninsula unique. Tracks like “Dust” and “Glimpse” float on their own wafting particles, gently held aloft by the easy chugging beat of the drums. This isn’t dance country: this is the beat of the mind. “Sun” has a childlike and playful quality to it with simple synth brass and strings over ambient found sounds. “Lid” evokes elements of Pole’s work while keeping a far darker, less sterile tone on the whole.

Holzmann’s Photophob alias is in evidence here but without knowing one could hardly place the two as originating from the same hands. Mono Peninsula is strictly dub with a hint of IDM whereas Photophob lives firmly in the latter realm with aspects of dub applied to the production. It’s great to see an artist branch out and explore like Mono Peninsula does. I’m not alone in looking forward to more from this moniker and musician.

Tired Dub is available on ROHS!.

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