Tikiman Vol. 1 album cover
Tikiman Vol. 1

Paul St. Hilaire

2023
Kynant Records

When Berlin dub techno masters Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus began to cut tracks with Dominica-born vocalist Paul St. Hilaire (then known as Tikiman) in the mid-’90s, their already spartan sound began to evolve and slow, the techno part of the equation falling to the side while the dub part widened to sublime effect. All the better to match St. Hilaire’s purring gravitas. The music the three rendered across that era (mostly under the heading Rhythm & Sound) remain the ne plus ultra of dub electronic music. St. Hilaire taps back into that narcotized feel on his first solo album in some 17 years, a most welcome return. “Ten to One” and “In Door” hearken back to the streamline club tempos of Round Three, but the slower he moves, the headier it gets. Like his former collaborators, St. Hilaire is judicious with his timbral palette, making spells out of low throbs, echoing keys, snares that shoot into deepest space, his voice all the gravity necessary.

Andy Beta

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