Originally released digitally on Iboga in 2014, Live on the Roadblog is the latest full-length by Saafi Brothers, comprised of longtime dubtech-nician Gabriel Le Mar and partner Michael Kohlbecker, making its CD debut on the Novum sublabel of Carpe Sonum. The origins of Saafi Brothers are long and storied, their brand of smoky, world-weary ambient dub first arising from the Blue Room label in the 90s, and running concurrent with Le Mars numerous other projects, either solo or in tandem with other bong-busting wunderkinds. Gabriel Le Mars beginnings arose like many of his 90s colleagues from the ashes of the club, where the sturm und drang of bodybeat was at the epicenter of atmosphere. Le Mars tendencies towards compositional variety lifted him well out of the dancefloor ghetto to advance his visions of an anarchic, far-flung, post-dance music. Effortlessly hard-wiring the strident lilt of original dubplate, Middle Eastern vibes, and Asiatic mosaics to a contemporary matrix of high-tech electronics, Le Mar singlehandedly tapped into a singular type of machine age voodoo. Within the larger remit of Saafi Brothers, Le Mar and Kohlbecker augured a long history of interwoven reverb and delay into a labyrinthine fabric of Orb-like, fourth-world fancy and spongiform rhythmic shudder. Live on the Roadblog is no different, but its hypnotic, rubbery textures and keening artificial interzones would make even Adrian Sherwood swoon. Le Mar and Kohlbecker at this point have far transcended their psychedelic trance roots, as evidenced by a track such as In the Eye of the Storm, where arcing Kraftwerkian pulses whir over, about, and under sinuous basslines, ghost-voices, and some spectacularly immersive rhythm programming. Were delighted to be releasing this bold work on Carpe Sonum Novum; like fine wine, the Brothers have only improved with age.Live on the Roadblog includes a gorgeous 8-page “travelogue”-style booklet designed by Simon Ghahary (and this additional artwork is the reason for the higher-than-normal pricing).
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