by Charles Muedede

Dubble-standart Sat May 31


Vienna-based Dubblestandart have been making dub music since 1990. They started at a time when the very idea of an Austrian dub act was at worst a cheap gimmick, and at best a curious experiment, like Meet in Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie--a very weird, and now mostly forgotten, collaboration between British dub veteran Mad Professor and a German new wave band called Puls Der Zeit. These days, however, it's almost impossible to separate dub from the new music that has placed Vienna on the worldwide electronica map; it's at the very root of Kruder & Dorfmeister, Tosca, Waldeck, Sofa Surfers, and Vienna Scientists. In this respect, Vienna is much closer to Bristol (home of dubby triphop) than London (jungle), Paris (hiphop), or Berlin (techno--though the new dub techno by the utterly brilliant Rhythm & Sound has connected it with Vienna).

Despite playing an active role in Vienna's expanding dub community, Dubblestandart are distinct in sound and agenda from the newer bands. The city's current dub tends to be decadent, like Tosca's "Fuck Dub," or existential, like Waldeck's "Defenceless."

Dubblestandart are much sunnier, drawing their sound and inspiration more directly from the source of dub--the sunny city of Kingston. Though not without their spacey effects--satellites falling through the purple atmosphere of planets called "Egalica"--the band produces an edgy, earthy, and epic dub--dub that is as wide and impressive as a range of American mountains or the canyons along the Great Rift of Africa. Dubblestandart are also very political, and it is precisely this combination, the politics with the art, that makes them a real dub band.