Ambient Dub Volume 1: The Big Chill cover

Ambient Dub Volume 1: The Big Chill

Released

Beyond Records and its Ambient Dub compilation series were attached to the Oscillate club in Birmingham run by Bobby Bird of Higher Intelligence Agency which hosted many of the biggest names in the nascent UK ambient and electronica scene in the early 90s. The compilations, especially this first volume, are a perfect distillation of a moment where “chillout” wasn’t separate from the dancefloor, but a vivid part of the nighttime experience, another way to feel peak brainwarp feelings. Highlights here included the gliding digi-dub bass and ecstatic bubblebath feeling of “Sexy Selector” by Original Rockers (later rebranded as Rockers Hifi), the insinuating alien voice and juddering bassline of Higher Intelligence Agency’s own “Ketamine Entity” and the church bells and theatrical reading from the biblical Song of Solomon on GoL’s “Angelica in Delirium.” But really it’s best experienced as a whole to jump into a time machine to a world of fractal projections, wild-eyed conversations on beanbags and a general sense of possibility.

Joe Muggs

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