High Tone
Ekphrön


4.0
excellent

Review

by Rastapunk USER (30 Reviews)
April 13th, 2014 | 26 replies


Release Date: 03/31/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A progressive French Dub record. High Tone is not ready to stop!

High Tone is a band formed in 1997 in the city of Lyon in France. They are known for their dub sound and their weird way of recording. They all gather in their studio and play all day while being recorded by a minidisc. They then select the good moments they had and see what they can do with that. Since the beginning of their musical adventure, High Tone have released a total of seven studio records, their latest being Ekphrön. The first five Cds were a mix between traditional reggae dub and their latest two records have been somewhat completely different. Outback, released in 2010 introduced a new sound, including dubstep and more abstract hip-hop in their music. Ekphrön on the other hand is another U-turn, with a progressive sound.

The record starts on a very relaxing sound, “basis”, with a rhythm made of drops of water and backed by a piano and violin from Vincent Segal. This atmospheric sound will be pursued on the following track “All Expectations” that will build into what sounds like a mix of abstract hip-hop and electronic beat. This calm and relaxing start will come to an end with the third song “Waqham Saba” that will mix traditional music (oud, oriental luth) with this fat dub beat High Tone is known for. This just a preview to what's coming for you. Until The Last Drop sees High Tone mixing their trademark sound with the voice of Paris artist Shanti D singing:

“Please leave this World as you found it and if you can/ later will be better/ Don't squeeze it like an orange, like an orange until the last drop”.

His voice fits perfectly in the song and stops on this awesome Dub break that turns this song into this energetic avalanche of bass. Electronically wise, this album reaches his peak on the next song “Raag Step”, with this omnipresent Dubstep beat, followed by the mix of traditional sounds and voice. The highest moment of this song is around two minutes when the band produces the only skank sound of this album and then elevates this song before breaking it back to this traditional sound. The record will not come close to another high moments as this one. In fact, the following two songs are rather mediocre.

“72' Turned Off” and “Old Mind” sees the band trying to go back to an atmospheric sound which doesn't work as it did in the beginning, lacking in relaxing sound. “Old Mind” is actually an abstract Hip-Hop song, with the voice of Oddateee. It will remind you of his featuring on Out Back, the previous record.

“I'm left in my old mind”

The end of the album is actually exactly this: a look into their previous sounds. It won't be the exact sound you've heard in their early records, but it will mix their new Dubstep influence with their older sound. “A Fistful Of Yen” sees the band alternating between dirty dubstep beats and a very calm synthesizer sound. “Super Kat” on the other hand is a six minutes long progressive dub song, with both their new and old influences

This last song actually sums up pretty well what High Tone wanted to achieve with this record: a progressive sound that doesn't stay in his comfort zone. Many of their new fans they got with their previous record will be disappointed by this one, the band took another u-turn and left this dancing dubstep sound. Is it bad? I don't think so, it proves that this band still has a lot of creativity and isn't going to be a caricature of themselves like some other dub bands are right now.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Rastapunk
April 13th 2014


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Don't know why the album cover doesn't work... Tried two different files already...

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2014


16060 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not often the sort of thing i listen to but really liking this so far, nice pick



Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

Rastapunk
April 13th 2014


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm glad you liked it, wasn't sure if Sputnik would like that sound since I never see similar album reviews

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2014


16060 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuk, this is great, waqham saba and until last drop are really cool

Rastapunk
April 13th 2014


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really liking Raag Step personally... That build and break does it for me .

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2014


16060 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

will check it all later manc/lpool on the tv now

small thing i noticed
"This last song actually sum up pretty well"
sums

Rastapunk
April 13th 2014


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you for that I'll correct it right now

gosk8n
April 13th 2014


1054 Comments


Saw the word dub, will check

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

InFlamesWeThrash666
April 13th 2014


1343 Comments


Just listened the song Until The Last Drop...Sounds good to me

Digging: Ne Obliviscaris - Citadel

danielito19
April 13th 2014


6171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good rev, will check this out

Digging: Self Defense Family - Indoor Wind Chimes b/w Cottaging

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2014


16060 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I'm really liking Raag Step personally... That build and break does it for me"

haha sorry those laser blasts annoy the hell out of me, still there's some great tracks on here love the ethnic wailing type feels

SharkTooth
April 13th 2014


5267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's been a while since I've heard some good dub, or any reggae influenced sound tbh

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2014


16060 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

last track is superb

danielito19
April 13th 2014


6171 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

jamming the oddateee track tbh

Acanthus
April 13th 2014


9543 Comments


Yay for dub, will try and listen later today.

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts

Rastapunk
April 13th 2014


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If you guys enjoyed this album, check out their previous one too, Out Back. It is awesome too (especially rub a dub anthem).

Thanks for the pos!

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
April 13th 2014


7137 Comments


Whoa sweet ill have to check this out, this sounds like something ill dig.

LordePots
April 13th 2014


7939 Comments


intrigued

Digging: Junglepussy - Satisfaction Guaranteed

Nikkolae
April 13th 2014


4862 Comments


for what i've heard it sounds pree good

Digging: Cursed Graves - Western Blood

RoundOnEndHiInMiddle
April 13th 2014


336 Comments


This sounds like something I'll have to check out. Great review, too. Have a pos!

Digging: Aesop Rock - Daylight



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