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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released February 10, 2004 | Ghostly International

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 13, 2006 | Ghostly International

During the five years that passed between One/Three and Two/Three, polymath producer Tadd Mullinix kept Dabrye active with a short release for Scott Herren's Eastern Developments label, a handful of singles for Ghostly, collaborations on Thomas Fehlmann's underheard Lowflow, and several remixes. If you heard any of these releases as they came out, Two/Three will be less of a surprise. The album is much different from One/Three in presentation, length, tone, and structure. One/Three remains the most effective and subliminally touching fusion of IDM and hip-hop, an all-instrumental affair that rides in on a cool breeze and subsides after half an hour. Two/Three's contrasts are immediate, signified in the design of its sleeve and made further apparent with each successive listen. Nearly twice as long as its predecessor, the album contains 14 tracks with a varied roster of guest MCs and six succinct instrumentals. The experience is dense and as cold as a Detroit alley on a February morning, packed with biting beats and thick atmospheric globs. It's rather claustrophobic at times, if in a deeply alluring fashion, and it can be tough to get a grip on it all in one concentrated shot. A nine-track patch, from "Jorgy" through "My Life," is where you can get an easy-to-digest fix, as it involves an extraordinarily vast array of sounds and lyricists while sacrificing neither flow nor momentum. Here's where several Detroit and Detroit-area MCs -- from Platinum Pied Pipers' Waajeed (a phenom on the boards in his own right) to Invincible (who really should release a full Dabrye-produced album) -- step up as if they know they're introducing themselves to a lot of new ears. On "My Life," '90s-rap nerds will get a kick, and then a reality check, from hearing half of the duo that brought them "Fat Pockets" and "Soul Clap." Fittingly closed out by the Jay Dee and Phat Kat feature "Game Over," originally released in 2003, Two/Three's always moving, almost always stimulating, never stagnating, and will hopefully be followed up sooner than 2011. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Electronic - Released February 22, 2019 | Ghostly International

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released February 16, 2018 | Ghostly International

The wait for part three of the Dabrye trilogy was more than twice the length of the wait for part two. Scattered collaborations, remixes, and a 12" excepted, Tadd Mullinix devoted more of the decade-plus break between Dabrye albums to other sectors of underground music, including electro-industrial through three(!) pummeling Charles Manier full-lengths alone. The stature of the Dabrye catalog concurrently spiraled upward. Mullinix's hip-hop alter ego was placed within a lineage that included DJ Shadow and J Dilla, at least as far as the estimable L.A. beat scene was concerned. Taking all that into account, Mullinix could've been forgiven for snaring higher-profile guest verses and treading into commercial waters, or maybe incorporating some grand sonic flourishes or recurring verbal assertions. The beatmaker makes it clear through the first track -- in which understated knocking drums, accented with warped FX and animated soundclash chatter, are laid out for a blue-collar Midwesterner on the mike -- that there will be none of that. Fronted by Guilty Simpson, "Tunnel Vision" likewise reflects Mullinix' approach in title and content, "Never affected by the new sellers," and it establishes the tone for a steady, rock-solid album involving a cross-generational, predominantly Detroit-bred cast of rappers, from Phat Kat to Nolan the Ninja, as well as East Coasters Ghostface Killah and Roc Marciano and West Coasters Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley Perkins. All the MCs from east of California sound at ease yet ready to scrap, or in the case of Doom on the humorously bellicose "Lil Mufukuz," inclined to administer corporal punishment like Luther Ingram's mother. The guests' few lapses into routine swashbuckling are counterbalanced by Mullinix' knack for mixing immediacy and nuance. Although there are ominous qualities to some of the tracks -- blunt drums, clanging noises, refracted and probing synthesizers evoking not-so-fun houses and slasher flicks -- this is brighter than Two/Three. Sweet and synthetic woodwinds and strings, sublime piano loops, and other delightful wrinkles are more common than the creep-out components. Some cuts, including a batch during the latter half hour, groove unlike anything else Mullinix has released. "First Law of Nature Rock Day" in particular sounds based in a private-pressing synth funk truffle. Mullinix leaves the hype to a flattering Dilla line sampled from his own "Game Over." When that level of approval is in reserve, there's no need for self-promotion. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 2, 2002 | Ghostly International

Released as a tangent from his trilogy of LPs for Ghostly, Instrmntl finds Dabrye temporarily linking up with Eastern Developments for another half-hour of abstract instrumental hip-hop. The producer sits the ice block that encased 2001's One/Three out in the sun, lets it melt, and tweaks the formula used for that record such that words like "glitch" and "chilly" no longer have any possible relation -- at least not for this release. And, while not quite as superb as One/Three, Instrmntl has a wider range of sounds to offer. The painfully short "Intrdctn," with its snappy standup bassline, crisp but rounded beat, and lovely keyboard vamps, grabs the ears instantly. Unfortunately, it fades away after a little over a minute, but it's a clever ruse that pulls the listener in. The following "Won" holds many examples of Dabrye's ability to place disparate elements alongside each other and have them fit with positive results. A pleasant stomp is accompanied by handclaps, cowbells, bleeps, and synth zaps, the latter of which is most prominent. At the three-minute mark, the song drops out completely in favor of radio static. When the song reappears a second later, the zaps are gone. A flute that previously made one-note punctuations perks up and coaxes out a lovely filigree to finish the song off. "Evelyn," while much less complex, is the deepest, warmest track Dabrye has created yet, based on more rich keyboards, thick drum kicks, and extra touches that glimmer and swoon. As to why these records are so brief, who knows? Perhaps Dabrye likes it short and sweet. Or maybe he's trying to avoid being slapped with lawsuits by people in neck braces. After all, an 80-minute Dabrye record could have fatal results for even the most flexible of necks. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released October 3, 2006 | Ghostly International

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released May 3, 2019 | ATA Records

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released February 11, 2008 | Ghostly International

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Electronic - Released January 23, 2018 | Ghostly International

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 7, 2006 | Ghostly International

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 7, 2003 | Ghostly International

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2001 | Ghostly International

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released January 1, 2001 | Ghostly International

One/Three, the first Dabrye release from Tadd Mullinix, is white funk lodged in a glacier. Clippity-clap-clack beats, inspired in part by Jay Dee, and deceptively melodic bonk-zaps form the groundwork of the set, a perfectly digestible LP at 10 tracks and 35 minutes that forms an ideal bridge between the abstract hip-hop of Mo' Wax and the shivery busted funk of early Kompakt. Unlike a common gaffe of the Mo' Wax stable, Dabrye gains inspiration -- rather than outright grave-robbing nostalgia -- from hip-hop production. You might hear a swift nod to something familiar, as in the latter half of the closing "Hot Mating Ritual," however there's little to conjure images of unlaced Adidas and furry hats. Remember That Beat this isn't; there's a lot more imagination at play. And since none of these fully realized tracks exceed four minutes, no slick beat or hidden melody outlasts its welcome. It's a short record not short on unpredictable ideas. "The Lish" would sound like a slow-motion Zapp remix if it weren't for woozy wafts of saxophone. At the onset, "So Scientific" sounds like it could shoot into 2-step and winds up wrenching out a Teutonic melody, flapjacking it on its back. The aforementioned "Hot Mating Ritual," like a handful of tracks scattered throughout, has a summery '80s R&B vibe, belying the innate stiff chill mentioned above -- the deep "ah-woo"s aren't to be missed either, just one example of the record's good humor. Lacking a dull moment, one hopes One/Three won't go the way of Urban Tribe's LP (the product of a flirtation between Detroit and Mo' Wax) as a sorely unrecognized gem. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Electronic - Released December 14, 2017 | Ghostly International

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Electronic - Released November 7, 2017 | Ghostly International