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No Future Dubs

by Messer & Toto Belmont

  • LP

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Toto Belmont & Messer
No Future Dubs (2021)

01. Versiegelter Dub I
02. Versiegelter Dub II
03. A No. 3
04. Der Mieter Version
05. Dyyni
06. Tape 10
07. Mexiko
08. Tiefenrausch IIb

There’s something new under the sun. If you look at it closely, something new is only (and always) created at crossroads – when different and significant traditions are connected and combined. On their own, these traditions have often existed for a while. However, in this new form they have never appeared together. The latest manifestation of something new can now be found on the album “No Future Dubs”, the interpretations of “No Future Days” – the most recent album by German band Messer – by Finnish producer and old friend of the group Kimmo Saastamoinen aka Toto Belmont. The intentional traditions that merge on this grand and dignified album are post-punk, dub and techno. A new chapter in the culturally constant narrative of dub is written here.

Through their past and parallel activities in hardcore and post-punk bands, Messer drummer Philipp Wulf met and befriended Kimmo, originally a drummer too. In their continuous dialogue discussing their musical journey, Philipp and Kimmo over the years more and more immersed themselves in the aesthetic possibilities of dub and reggae. Indeed, lots of musicians do not listen to the type of music at home that they write and play in their respective projects (Take me as an example: House is the music that I produce and put on as a DJ. On my own, I listen to various stuff, music by Monk and Messer for example). The same applies to the protagonists involved here. By discussing dub und through Toto Belmont’s steadily increasing producing expertise, the idea of creating dub versions of selected Messer tracks was born. The Messer album “No Future Days”, released in 2020, proved to contain the perfect raw material as the songs on this album are already produced in a much more transparent way than on previous Otremba’s voice is used more like an instrument, as if he was the ghostly figure which he often sings about and which now floats and screams through the sound space).

The history of mutual contact and influence of (post-)punk and dub (reggae), which Messer have kept on writing, is glorious and reaches back far in musical history. Still, it has always been a rather marginal chapter not only in punk but also in dub history. But already in the beginnings of punk (the British version, less the American one), the presence and influence of reggae was obvious in many places as both are united in their resolute attitude as rebel music. This is how the two genres recognized each other – especially the punks regarded reggae as rebellious. As is known, already Johnny Rotten mainly listened to dub in private. By using the name John Lydon, he then – together with bass player Jah Wobble – established the group PiL as one of the most exemplary bands at the crossroads of dub and punk. The Slits, Pop Group, Killing Joke, The Ruts and last but not least The Clash along with the Mick Jones offshoot Big Audio Dynamite – the thriving British music scene in the early 80s was full of dub-influenced acts. The echoes meandered everywhere. In the USA, it took longer until the influence of dub became noticeable and it has never been as distinctive as in the UK. The history of US hardcore, however, cannot be told without bands like Bad Brains from Washington D.C. who on their albums occasionally inserted conscious reggae and dub tracks between breakneck hardcore tracks. Another important group is Blind Idiot God who similarly included dub tracks on their LPs – the contrast between densely droning rock tunes and widely breathing dub versions can be experienced very vividly here. In the 90s, dub’s influence on post-punk decreased while turning up even more distinctively somewhere else: Techno was in many respects susceptible to dub, to say nothing of the music from the so-called British hardcore continuum (jungle, drum & bass etc.), which directly developed from dub and reggae. But also “pure” techno – meaning techno without breakbeats – discovered its affinity for the possibilities of dub at an early stage, in England for instance in projects like Leftfield or The Orb. In addition, the project Rhythm & Sound was established in Berlin with close ties to the Hardwax record store. With regard to this project, you can’t really say where dub ends and where techno begins (or vice versa) because of the interconnection of the two genres here – everything is based on the steppers pulse which links the two styles like a common DNA. With dub techno a new genre was created. Until the present day, there are producers who don’t produce anything else and DJs who don’t put on any other music.LPs – and are hence more suitable for dub. Still, it’s a giant leap from the originals to the dubs. These add a third dimension to the described character of the post-punk/dub amalgam: techno. The result is a sound that hasn’t existed before, especially not with German lyrics (which scarcely, however, carry meaning or messages here. Hendrik

The Messer dubs are characterized by a grand majestic manner and force that presumably someone like Mad Professor is able to produce and that is also inherent in many Scandinavian productions of the last 15 years; a crystal-clear aesthetic which locates itself far away from Kingston or Brixton, but features a pulse referring clearly to Berlin and Helsinki. The songs appear in a completely new and deconstructed form, the instruments are exclusively used as particles and raw material, not as riffs; merely glaring guitar textures fill the wide dub space. There are many new elements that were added by Toto Belmont, especially synthesizer sounds and drums. The final result creates an enormous aesthetic power and dignity, and an atmosphere you don’t want to leave anymore. “No Future” is a well-chosen title as a reference to the protagonists’ punk association; as a main thrust of the album, however, a comma between these two words is imaginable as well.

Text by Hans Nieswandt
(English translation: David Wulf)


released April 9, 2021

Mastering: Alexander von Hörsten
Cut: Kassian / Dubplates & Mastering

Digital Release via Trocadero




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