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Pere Ubu - Dub Housing

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 16 / 10 / 2002

Pere Ubu - Dub Housing
Label: Select Label
Format: N/A


In the latest in our 'Favourite Album series, in which one of our writers writes about a favourite album of his or her choice, Maarten Schiethart reflects upon new wave art-rockers Pere Ubu's seminal second album 'Dub Housing'

Each time I listen to music, I hope to discover sparkling new sounds. I, therefore hardly ever go back to an older album, and, when I do, it is usually at the request of mates who have dropped in and want me to shut up whatever new crap I'm playing. Whether Pere Ubu, the Congos and Television prove to be life long favourites, I can't tell, but since approximately 1978, when I was 17,I have enjoyed listening to their music. Comparing 'Marquee Moon' to 'Heart of The Congos' and 'Dub Housing' only makes sense when you've spent days listening to them. Pere Ubu and Television are contemporaries from the same field, but share with the Congos an eerie, airy feel to their music. 'Dub Housing', Pere Ubu’s second album, is the album of the three that I have listened to the most intensely. The opening track 'Navvy' brought back to me when I first heard it memories of Devo , and later on a dance developed out of this this odd ball funk splash. 'On The Surface' , the second song, has always made me sit up and pay full attention as its 60's psycho beat slows down the whole pace of 'Dub Housing'. The foggy mystery and the nocturnal atmosphere of the title track creates and tailors the ultimate straightjacket for Pere Ubu's haunting music. Bearing in mind the glitsch music that is made with the 21st century in computers, 'Thriller!', the last track on the first side, was pretty far ahead of its time. Standing next to the turntable,as that young man of 17 or so, waiting for the last scratch of 'Thriller!' to be over, I felt compelled to sway to its distorted beats. After having quickly flipped the LP over, I would then settle down and start sipping a beer or scotch. At that time I couldn't possibly think of anything more pleasant than listening to the second side of 'Dub Housing'. Occasionally I would feel sorry that Pere Ubu never invited Captain Beefheart along to their recording sessions.I would try to imagine Pere Ubu doing those skizzo Ubu dances on a stage. On stage Pere Ubu were the next Magic Band, and frontman and singer David Thomas would put up a show that would need several cameras to catch it all. Yet, as I was at home, alone or with friends, 'Dub Housing' always forced me into the grey zone of indecisiveness. Should I stay or should I go? '(Pa) Ubu Dance Party' would give me the necessary push to go to the front door, but then I’d have go back to check the next track after it. 'Blow Daddy-o', which follows, was a slice of disorientation that in contrast pinned me down to my chair. I tried to imagine Captain Beefheart proclaiming 'Blow Daddy-o' , before ending up bewildered by 'Codex', the final track, which has David Thomas backing a Beach Boys style track at 16 rounds per minute. Even when I played many records at the wrong speed - by intention - I never did so with 'Dub Housing' by Pere Ubu. Respect due.

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Pere Ubu - Dub Housing

Pere Ubu - Dub Housing

Pere Ubu - Dub Housing

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