It’s good to occasionally get back in time, especially if it’s about great music. Today, I would like to talk a little bit more about one of the finest dub bands that emanate from a Balkan region. Radikal Dub Kolektiv are not strangers on a local and international scene, but somehow I felt these guys need a little bit more exposure and recognition from the broader auditorium. Radikal Dub Kolektiv is a Croatian dub group that originates from Zagreb. The band was born from the remnants of Radikalna Promjena, one of the best anarcho-punk/hardcore punk bands in my humble opinion. The remaining portion of involved musicians previously played in a legendary anarcho-punk band Nula and Abrakha-dub. Since 2002, Radikal Dub Kolektiv released a decent amount of recordings, such as a self-titled debut album, Tomato Jungle / Rajčice Dub 7″, A Brighter Future 10″ featuring Lua, Bass Matters LP, Hellness Centar LP, and Vinyl Debts 12″ EP.
Today, I will talk about
Hellness Centar, their third full-length material, released by PDV Records back in 2014. It is also the first release PDV Records ever released. Radikal Dub Kolektiv already set the tone with their previous recordings, but it seems like Hellness Centar defines the direction of this interesting band. If you experienced their music before, then you already know their style completely differs from the rest of the regional scene, which is relatively small but fully packed with quality bands. Radikal Dub Kolektiv measures perfect amounts of organic and generic sounds and movements. The group balances between analog foundations usually performed over standard instruments, such as drums, bass guitar, guitar, brass/horn section, and electronic aesthetics/decorations mainly achieved by turntables, samplers, and synths.
The electronic side of the group illustrates detailed sonic imagery, while the analog side supplies a stable background for these electronic maneuvers. The generous servings of reverb, echo, and delay effects are enhancing the echoic dub aesthetics, but the group even appropriately doses these ingredients so they couldn’t overwhelm the overall ambiance too much. You’ll notice how the entire material operates in harmony without overdubbing the elements that might spoil the listening experience. Radikal Dub Kolektiv handles all the effects, samples, accentuations, dubs with care, and each composition carries a specific vibe. Still, the outstanding production bounds the complete album and uplifts each instrument/detail/accentuation on an entirely new level. It seems like the group combines rich, traditional, old-school dub music heritage with slightly modern technics, but it certainly leans much more towards the contemporary sound, which is the main characteristic for western European, possibly French school of dub sound.
Whatever may be the case, Hellness Centar unquestionably deserves your uttermost attention if you’re eager to discover some outstanding dub music from the Balkan region. This album shines bright in every possible way, so you’ll enjoy these tunes no matter if you’re more into traditional or contemporary dub sound. Hellness Centar is still available on
vinyl and compact disc, or you can score this gem on streaming services if you’re more into streaming music. Also, keep your eyes peeled on digital reissue of their debut full-length material and physical reissue of their Tomato Jungle / Rajčice Dub 7″, which will be available soon. Both releases are available for pre-order. Head over to PDV Records for more information about ordering.