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Album Review: Silva Sound – “Lucid Silvan Dub” – a delicate balance of dub and lucidity

Dub music, with its offbeat, laidback rhythms and up-tempo, pounding lyrics, has a cool, relaxed feel to it already. But Silva Sound take that feeling one step further by infusing dub with a lucidity and psychedelic nature that elevates dub both musically and spiritually and takes listeners on a deep and soulful journey through space and time.

In their latest album, Lucid Silvan Dub (October 2014), dub purveyors Silva Sound, who hail from Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada, draw inspiration from the picturesque rainforests and coastlines of their surroundings. Looking to a wide range of musical influences, from Easy Dub All-Stars and Damian Marley to Tool and Dezarie, they create music that combines the beachy vibes of dub with the ethereal sounds of psychedelic art and earthy tones of tribal folk. Lyrically, the trio tackles global, local and personal issues in an organic but exciting way, and all of these musical characteristics shine through on the group’s latest recording.

Lucid Silvan Dub opens up with “Soon Come,” which illustrates the delicate balance of dub and lucidity in the inherently Silvan way, as it starts off with an intro that blends an array of keyboard and guitar lines to create a sound that is mellow and relaxed. Electrifying, hard-hitting lyrics interject into this hazy musical foundation, which introduces the quintessential dub vibe before falling back into smooth, drawn out lyrics that hark to the lucid aspects of the music.

The next track, “Lapis,” starts out with a more solid base of dub in the intro as the psychedelic elements begin peeking into the song in fits and spurts. The lyrics are even and easygoing, and as they progress, both they and the overlaying melodies take on a more hallucinogenic, almost intoxicating, feel to them. The back and forth and careful melding of the two musical genres showcase Silva Sound’s ability to approach music fusion in a smart way that maintains an equilibrium of two genres that may not at first seem compatible but, with this album as an example, are clearly meant for simultaneous experimentation.

The album’s closing track, “Move Out” is featured on WiFi PR Group’s Indie Anthems Vol. 9, a compilation of international independent artists who WiFi PR wants to put on the radars of music lovers and industry tastemakers the world over. Released at CMJ Music Marathon in October 2014, the digital mixtape was handed out on 3,500 download cards to festival attendees, and another 1,500 download copies are now available on the Indie Anthems Bandcamp page.

Masters of genre fusion Silva Sound have proven the ability of dub and psychedelic music to come together to strike a harmonious balance with their latest album, Lucid Silvan Dub. As Silva Sound are some of the pioneers in this type of fusion, it will be exciting to see where they take this new genre next as they continue to develop their unique sound.

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