Reviews Om Gethsemane Dubplate

Om

Gethsemane Dubplate

Everyone's favourite stoner rock band with a flair for the religious Om has been on a roll lately, releasing the incredible Advaitic Songs just last year. But they aren't stopping anytime soon--in addition to a planned single from frontman Al Cisneros to hit later this year, two of the band's tracks from their latest release have been handled by British reggae/dub act Alpha & Omega to be released as a series of dubplates.

The second of two, the Gethsemane Dubplate, brings a new vision to the track "Gethsemane". The track was originally the centrepiece to Advaitic Songs and singlehandedly put Cisneros' work with Sleep in a new light through it's exalting presentation, sounding intriguingly closely akin to a post-rock track than anything else he'd tackled before.

The first reworking from Alpha & Omega, "Garden of Gethsemane", takes a similar approach to their dubs of "Addis", underlying the core of the song with some properly groovy electronic rhythm work. Though the incessant 4/4 pulse does kind of make the piece feel a bit off (especially during the very melodic opening section with the female vocals), it has an odd way of growing on you. This is especially true of the melodic inserts, which start out annoying and somehow become satisfying before the end. The original vocals are given new life by underlying them with new melodies, bringing out the surprising amounts of melodic force in lines that are normally (and purposefully) very tonally sparse. In seeking to go the full 10+ minutes of the original piece, however, the dub does lose a bit of its momentum as it nears a close, but even I'll agree that's far from an egregious oversight.

The second half, "Garden of Dub", takes many of the same embellishments as the first side, but defers ever so slightly more to the original track, with just a hint of more empty space to it than the former. As someone unfamiliar with the genre, there is honestly not that much noticeably different to me--save the obviously altered vocal patterns--and while it feels slightly more inspired than the A-side, it also feels like it was executed less well. That being said, it also doesn't have the same propensity of giving out towards the end, so I'm sure there will be differing opinions on the matter.

Of the two dubplates from Α&Ω, this is the one most likely to appeal to fans of Om--the extended lengths and more drone-like quality makes them much more readily recognizable. If you can't find it in your heart to hear them both, then make this the one that you do.

6.0 / 10Sarah
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Drag City

2013

6.0 / 10

6.0 / 10

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