Review: Gulls – Water Creature / Gulls Rhythm Force [ZamZam37]

Those familiar with Gulls can attest that the man certainly knows what he’s doing. A myriad of solid releases on his own Boomarm Nation label proves he is at the forefront of Portland’s dub scene, and his most recent release for ZamZam merely solidifies the fact.

The A-side, “Water Creature” features Gulls on his own stepping out a contemplative 110 BPM chin stroker. As a solid bassline comes into play, the percussion (clap clap) begins to swell, catchy in and of its own. Chased around by an electric guitar, the melodies of the bass and treble intertwine and fall apart repeatedly. Muddled reverb fleshes out the atmosphere of the track as delayed synth stabs join in while the bassline continues to march along, guiding and providing. A very optimistic tune, well composed.

Although similar, the B-side is a different kind of beast. Slowly building over the course of the first half, the various instrumentation of “Gulls Rhythm Force” delivers a heartfelt motif, bouncing between ensemble members like a true orchestral composition should. Slightly quicker than the A-side, “Message to Rogg” still manages to remain a catchy, drawn out piece that without a doubt will prove timeless. Never overbearing and never wanting, a true full dubwise experience.

ZAMZAM37 is out now and available from Unearthed Sounds, Redeye, White Peach and Intense Records.

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