Review: A New Strain by Gabby Alipe

A New Strain by Gabby AlipeIt’s safe to say A New Strain isn’t what I was expecting. The first solo release from Urbandub vocalist Gabby Alipe still contains his signature voice – both in the writing and in the delivery; admit it, his vocals made Urbandub possible – but this time he exchanges the crunchy riffs for glitchy electronics with an undercurrent of soul. What I find fascinating about this is how it all works: the change of setting does not pop out at all (except for the beginning, but then you’re always regaining your bearings at the beginning of any album). Instead you quickly dive into Gabby’s voice – familiar, even comforting, but clearly having fun with the push and pull of the sounds that surround it. There’s a song in Filipino to boot! If I’m to nitpick, it’s that A New Strain is too short – I felt there was more space to push things further. But then, you risk alienating a bunch of people, so perhaps six tracks is as good enough a beginning. [NB]4/5

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