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Heather Duby
Elemental EP
(Sub Pop)

Released back in 1999, Heather Duby's album Post To Wire was a pretty nice excursion into trip-hop with a pop edge that worked quite nicely. This 5-song release finds her back in action with original members of the production squad intact, along with members of the electronic collective Elemental (making their debut, the group includes members of Maktub, Critters Buggin, and FCS North). Although the musical changes are that noticibly different, this EP packs a ton more energy into its slightly over 20 minute timespan.

In saying that, basically this album rocks out a lot more than Post To Wire. The release starts out with "What You Thought" and things kick off in a nice way with a funky upright bass rhythm and plenty of live drumming sounds. Despite the inclusion of a somewhat cheesy vocal sample, the track swaggers right along and Duby's breathy vocals are front and center. "From Here To Gone" is the first track on the disc that works more of a drum and bass rhythm, and mixed with a touch of strings and all kinds of other embelishments, it's probably the most lush and interesting track.

"Love You More" arrives as the middle track and slows things down considerably with a subdued, but chunky sounding rhythm and quiet crooning before things bust loose yet again about a minute into the track with a fairly standard drum and bass rhythm (which works sort of the same territory that Everything But The Girls Walking Wounded did a couple years back). Of course, nothing quite prepared me for the final two tracks of the album, though.

With all vocals dropped, both "Terrabyte" absolutely pounds with rippin' jungle beats (sounding like a more viscious track from an old Metalheadz release) and was created by someone called Diskyze. The disc closes down with another instrumental, this one performed by the collective Elemental. It too has a drum and bass rhythm, but also features a bit of melody with some sampled guitar and vocals. It's a fairly interesting track, but yet another different sound to close up an eclectic EP. If you were a fan of her last release, you'll probably find some things you'll like, but it will be interesting to see what direction the group takes (or if they even continue with this lineup).

Rating: 6.5