- For all the complaints that dub techno has become mere formula, there are plenty of artists working towards pushing (and pulling) it forward, backward, left and right. Levon Vincent's powerful tracks this past year have been unmistakably dub-influenced, laced with a techno muscularity. Moritz von Oswald's Trio, meanwhile, pushed into the live realm, taking techniques from the genre, and tweaking them to masterful effect. And quietly, but assuredly, there is also Ribn—Manuel Tur and Langenberg—whose small discography is set to swell over the course of the next few months.
Their first effort to see the light of day since their 12-inch for Styrax Leaves is this one, Plain City, for Ovum. And it's one that continues to showcase their sterling dub-laden groovers. The trio of eight-plus minute tracks are as moody as anything Stephen Hitchell has put to wax, but they have a sense of urgency that makes their dance floor aims plain. "KMD" and "Plain City" have plenty of room for melancholy, but also burn when they need to. "Cottbus," meanwhile, seems to be the DJ track of choice. It's not hard to hear why. The starry-eyed, lengthy builds are absent, replaced by a distorted melody that does nothing except allow the duo to build percussion over top. It inches, never making much of a move, but if you listen to its beginning and ending in quick succession, you'll be able to hear just how far it moves. Tur and Langenberg here have created that rarest of gems, the unassuming anthem.
B2 Plain City