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Zero dB

British duo Zero dB (Chris Vogado and Neil Combstock) have earned equal if not more attention for their remixes as for their own songs, and Reconstruction features nine of their most solid interpretations of other musicians' work. Few of the artists "reconstructed" (Grupo Batuque, Peace Orchestra, Interfearance) will be familiar to most folks, with the possible exception of late American free-jazz innovator Sun Ra. His "Satellites Are Spinning" is brought to new depths by Zero dB, which puts effects and treatments on Arkestra singer June Tyson's bold voice and adds layers of echoing sounds. The obscure track listing may make it hard to parse what Zero dB has exactly done to the originals in each case, but the duo has one important signature to listen for. Well-rounded producers, they're nonetheless best-known for attention-demanding bass lines that are considered vital to a good track.

Zero dB's flair for this sonic element is most brilliantly on display in its version of Suba's "Samba Do Gringo." On this cut, which began life with a much more traditional samba feel, the two U.K. producers overlay the guitar chords with two types of simultaneously running bass lines: one a growling tonal squelch (a sound that was popular in early-'90s acid-house music) and the other a forceful barrage of low-end rumble. Those with a love of bass and an appetite for boom should look no further.

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Tamara Palmer

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