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Big Two Hundred - Your Personal Filth

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Artist: Big Two Hundred

Album: Your Personal Filth

Label: DC Recordings

Review date: Mar. 6, 2003

Width of a Dub

The U.K.'s musical connection with reggae and dub is longstanding, cemented during the 80s by the slightly more surprising punk affinity. Via bands ranging from the Clash to PiL, and of course Adrian Sherwood's dub-infused experiments, the influences of Lee Perry, King Tubby, and many others have spread throughout the music world.

Big Two Hundred bring their own updating to the sound, clearly inspired by the Pop Group and Sherwood as well. The opening track, "UK Decay," brought the Pop Group immediately to mind, with its chanted vocals and high energy delivery. The title track is a slightly more experimental instrumental track, tossing rattles and clicks atop deep tom-toms and a slow, rumbling bassline. Samples of echoing voices add to the sound collage feel.

"Doorstep Discovery" is an unusual combination of buzzing synth-bass (probably) and steady, funky drums with chanted, melodic vocals. The sing-song quality of the voice, in sync with the rhythm, results in a hypnotic, memorable piece.

The core duo within Big Two Hundred are Andrew Meecham, whose bass, guitar, and synth are a huge part of the sonic flavoring; and Dean Meredith, whose drums, percussion, and fx keep it all in motion. They took pains during the recording of Your Personal Filth to duplicate an older way of doing things, apparently to resurrect a 70s feel. The result is, of course, bass-heavy, since this sort of dub-derived sound is nothing if the bass doesn't push and pull. Psychedelic, funky, stuff that hits both the experimental side and the straight-up side of things.

From the heavy-duty kick drum beat and accessible synth line of "Suckee" to the almost tribal-stomp feel of "Kog", Big Two Hundred stay true to their dubbish underpinnings while exploring the available possibilities. This album runs the gamut, and anyone who's got a love for down and dirty rhythms, massive bass lines, and tasteful studio trickery will be in heaven.

By Mason Jones

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