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Bvdub - Return to Tonglu


Brock Van Wey’s Bvdub project has been pretty prolific since 2007, with releases on dub techno labels such as Styrax Leaves, Millions of Moments and Southern Outpost. This is his 3rd CD-R EP on his own Quietus label, “Return to Tonglu” being limited to 500 copies alone. 

A 4 track EP that weighs in at an album-length 45 minutes, this is an introspective journey through some ambient soundscapes where the heavy spectre of dub techno remains present, but in the background, only chiming in when the rhythm appears, and to Van Wey’s credit he choses more broken patterns that are reminiscent of Reload or Ross 154 in the halcyon period of the mid-90’s. The album’s highlight is the hazy chiming of “Always on the outside” where tendrils of warm, shapeless melodies weave in and out of rhythms that have their roots in the melting pot of 90’s London drum ‘n’ bass rather than in the stark warehouses of Kreuzberg. To his credit the ever-present spectre of Basic Channel that looms so large over any producer making “dub techno” doesn’t make its presence felt to a great degree here, Van Wey eschewing the temptation to apply reverb and echo, instead swamping his tracks with a consistent and progressive melodic line that automatically puts him ahead of most producers in this field.

I will admit that I find it hard to get excited by much new material in this field, because to my mind the palette of sounds were explored to their full potential in the mid-90’s. However, for those with an interest in this genre, then it’s difficult to argue against Brock Van Wey’s project being one of the leaders, and one to almost buy on sight.

Toby Frith

Bvdub website


Reader Comments (1)

thanks for the kind review :) glad you felt it


November 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbvdub
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