With most dub sounding like it’s fallen off the Great Wall Of China: spaced out bass meets zero gravity rhythm, “Greg Gives Peter Space” is a refreshing contrast. Rather than the subs being tested like a magazine selling out, the low end on Greg Haines and Peter Broderick’s first collaboration together is steady and seismic. Within the hull of the ship lies a complex network of frequency modulation, with Peter’s partly eccentric lyrical ditties about spinning and black cats in the first rub “The Drive” oddly entrancing. “I can’t shake this feeling” on the coastal drift of “The Feeling Shaker” is the most effective for me, as it relies on a repeated hook that ingrains itself in your perception and gives play to the other elements like a lock to a key.
The familiar violin and guitar/piano stable, the playing of looped crescendoes and eddying instruments – those embellishments still exist in “Greg Gives Peter Space”, but transformed. And although the drums are a tad tepid and the pseudo-psychedelia of the lyrics slightly saccharine, this 24 minute experience becomes very cohesive because of its sheen simplicity. It has a unique transcendental introspection on part of the mood and the way the elements react to the ear. As opposed to the bandaged quarter-turn of focus on behalf of the listener – bassline being that, the singing of Peter and the piano and dub experiments of Haines share more of a halfway marker. The mixture is like a chocolate factory processing things into little segments for the listener to nibble on.
But it is not a diet affair, like a train stripped of its engine. “The dream of flying transformed into the comfort of dying / But this night I shall not be taken, no / For my earthly duties have not yet been forsaken” resonates as a cropped syntax of the mini LP, foraging on the traditional themes of dub yet taking the subject matter somewhere unfamiliar. Granted, the results are Olympic, running a hurdle race in terms of harvesting interest. However the most satisfying part of this release is its dense oddness. “Greg Gives Peter Space” may be faithful to dub’s roots, though it is certainly not rooted by dub. And for this it’s a warranted exploration and purchase.