The Disciples / Experiments / Thank You

Berlin`s Sound Metaphors store have a selection of “alternative” productions from The Disciples`Russel Bell-Brown, pressed up across 4 sides on vinyl on their Thank You imprint. Renowned the world over for his dynamite modern dub and roots records, released on labels such as his own Boom Shacka Lacka, and that of Jah Shaka, the Thank You double-pack is something a little bit different. Described by Russell as “Experiments”, giving the album its title, this is music made in the mid-90s, in parallel to the sides that defined his characteristic reggae sound. Here, instead of skanking, he creates sleepy, stoned grooves from slow hip hop / trip hop-esque beats and almost modal bottom-end. Tempering tumbling, filtered, rhythms with flickering new age-y fretwork, and flashes of psychedelic organ. Synthesizing soft focus R&B love themes. 

Disciples Experiments A

Vortexion is a moody, jazzy, noir. Its horns married to a computerized walking contrabass line. Similar to the stuff that Two Lone Swordsmen and Red Snapper were creating at around the same time. Fire Night is a chunky, chilled, chugger, tickled by tabla, and shimmering with sitar drone. Reminiscent of The Rootsman`s more Balearic gear, tracks such as Into The Light. 

Disciples Experiments B

The opening Some Things is nearly 12 minutes long. Spiralling ethereal synths over a post-Soul II Soul shuffle. Each drum hit fluttering and floating, forever, in waves of delay. Not much happens, I guess, but it’s totally hypnotic anyway. Following a big breakdown, eruptions of echo, and the subsequents sheets of feedback start rocking and shocking the senses. A plaintive piano providing a lifeline back to reality’s shores. It’s the sort of thing that you might have heard early doors at Happy Jax, Andrew Weatherall’s club, Sabresonic, alongside, say, Bandulu’s equally epic Invaders, or on Andrew’s corresponding Kiss FM wireless show. 

Disciples Experiments C

The Disciples` Experiments is out now, on Thank You. 

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