Dublab Presents: Freeways

Dublab Presents: Freeways

Various Artists

Emperor Norton

A welcome return from the Internet radio pioneers and Web entrepreneurs collectively known as Dublab, Freeways is merely a sampling of the tremendous work these cats have done since 1999. Having always promoted positive music and lifestyles, it was quite a surprise that the station and site were based out of Los Angeles, which seems to promote the exact opposite. Nonetheless, the record is a swaying freeform mix of downbeat, hip-hop, and experimental sounds with pleasant ambient touches for good measure.

The underground is exposed with the most sincerity, as the most notable name on this record is verbal dynamite Divine Styler. On “Shen,” the MC weaves his futuristic prose through impeccable electro and 808 tweaks. As the record submerges into a tranquil sea of sine waves and stuttering but quiet beats, it is quite evident why the labrats live up to their name. It is relieving to see them return and venture into other channels of media after the Web site’s temporary shutdown. If you tire of radio, overhyped electronic acts, and all alternative music that’s not really alternative, fine-tune your ears to the lab of dub.

Emperor Norton Records, 102 Robinson Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026; http://www.emperornorton.com

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