Rovo - "Rovo Dub"
(Wonderground Music WRCD-49)
From Aural Innovations #43 (October 2011)
ROVO are a pretty damn cool instrumental band from Japan. This is their latest release and I think it is all new material and it is interesting to hear the band experiment with dub music and use all these delays on the percussion etc. Their last studio record was three years ago. It was all mixed by their violin guru Yuji Katsui and keyboard player Tatsuki Masuko. There are 5 tracks in 47 minutes. The sound production is totally amazing and very cool. The CD starts off with Tanger Dub for the first 10 1/2 minutes. It has a very lush sound with intense drumming and spacey synth and violin but a very melodic thread runs through the track. Man, they really like to use delay and they switch from adding it to the keyboard, violin, percussion, etc. Damn cool and psychedelic. Eclipse Dub is only 4 minutes and does not have any groove to start, just the band experimenting with sounds and echos as a nice melodic keyboard line repeats itself over and over. Some drums come in and out here and there. Baal Dub is 12 minutes one of the stand out tracks. It starts quite slow and spaced out and has a massive deep bass (be careful if you have a subwoofer). Then it kicks in with a spacey synth (or is it violin?) and they mix the drums coming in an and out of the sound in a very special way that really fucks with your head. They go into a very cool section with all these bells about 2/3 of the way into the track and it is really spaced out. Totally psyched out stuff. RM Dub is another long one but almost mainstream after that psych out that was Baal dub. There is still a lot of sounds going around but this is more percussive and grooving with melodic synths and violin. The end of this track is really cool with Hawkwind like synths and stuff and really groovy! The last track, Sino Dub, just under 7 minutes and starts off with guitar and then the uptempo drums kick in and the layers of everything else starts. I am pretty sure this is a song from one of their DVDs or records I have by them. Anyway, a pretty cool way to end this excellent album. If you like Rovo, for sure try to hunt this down. It is only released in Japan.
For more information you can visit the Rovo web site at: http://www.rovo.jp
Reviewed by Scott Heller