Dolomite Dub

A 4 track ambient dub album (42m 28s) — released February 8th 2019 on 4Bit Productions

* 180g Vinyl cut at D&M including CD and DOWNLOAD CODE! *

In his latest composition, DOLOMITE DUB, the Vienna-based South Tyrolean sound artist Ulrich Troyer presents his perceptions of a several-day high alpine hike across the Dolomites transformed into a soundscape.

The more than 40 minute track DOLOMITE DUB leads the listeners through this landscape of heights transgressing different moods - in which autobiographical memories flash up as well.

Subsequently to the experimental dub trilogy Songs for William and the EP Deadlock Versions, a cooperation with Vin Gordon and Didi Kern, DOLOMITE DUB features besides Didi Kern on drums & percussion, Susanna Gartmayer on contra-alto clarinet and Juergen Berlakovich on bass, both long-time ensemble members of the joint project "The Vegetable Orchestra".


Ulrich Troyer on DOLOMITE DUB

What does DOLOMITE DUB refer to?

The title refers to the Dolomites, their massiveness and their echo spaces, which served as inspiration for the polyrhythmic bass lines and spaces of reverberation. As a South Tyrolean, I have personally been tempted to use my fascination for the mountains in a composition, detached from popular clichés. The title itself also refers to dub.

What does the genre from Jamaica have to do with the mountains?

What fascinates me about dub is the massive bass; here it becomes an analogy to the mountain massifs, the repetition that resembles a hiking movement and the echo spaces that open and close. In addition, there are the triplet delays above a straight metre, one of the main characteristics of dub-music, which create a pull, as well as the polyrhythmic shifts the composition is using.

The piece quotes a hike?

Like a hike of several days, DOLOMITE DUB consists of several stages. In this case it consists of four parts, each of nearly equal length, which merge into one another. At first perception the piece might appear monotonous, but soon a musical river emerges, similar to that of a hike at 2500 meters. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the mountain massif through which one wanders changes. The artistic challenge was to compose a piece that is uniform on the surface, yet does not become boring, but rather opens up new perspectives in its movement and after each stage.

How did you relate to these inner and outer movements?

Besides the mountains, records have fascinated me since my childhood. DOLOMITE DUB has a speed of 133 1/3 BPM. This is the speed of a record when it is played back at 33 rpm. It occurred to me as a very suitable and pleasant speed to walk with. Regarding the sound material for DOLOMITE DUB I only used the tone-material of one scale (C sharp aeolic), but I would reinterpret them in the course of the piece by changing the key tone. The bass reference tone of the first part of the four stages is C sharp, the second E, the third G sharp and the last C sharp again. These stages also alter the general atmosphere of the piece.

How did the collaboration with the musical guests come about?

Both Susanna Gartmayer and Jürgen Berlakovich have been working with me for years on a joint project "The Vegetable Orchestra". Contra-alto clarinet, electric bass and bass synthesizer occurred to me as a suitable instrumentation for DOLOMITE DUB. The first version was conducted for the international festival of contemporary art "Steirischer Herbst" in 2015, for which I also asked Didi Kern, with whom I had already worked on Deadlock Versions. Unfortunately, he was on tour with one of his bands at that time and therefore couldn't collaborate. For the album version, however, we were fortunately able to get together and have several sessions.

You have also included sound material (samples). How were these selected?

I recorded sounds of roof beams, stoves, furniture, floors, doors and windows in the house of my deceased grandmother in Klobenstein. These noises form the basis for the polyrhythmic pulse of the piece. Here they emerge as personal acoustic memories.


Period of creation: 2015 - 2018

First version: Commissioned by ORF musikprotokoll 2015
World premiere of the first version: 10th of October 2015, Helmut List Halle, Graz (A)

Album version 2018:

This studio version has been significantly revised and expanded since its premiere. Ulrich Troyer worked again with Susanna Gartmayer on the contra-alto clarinet and Jürgen Berlakovich on the electric bass. Didi Kern joined newly and interpreted the motifs for DOLOMITE DUB both on drums and percussion (cymbals with violin bow, prepared stand tom, various metals, cow bells, etc.).


The cover image displays an ink drawing of the frequency analysis of the entire composition: The left axis represents the time, the right axis represents the frequency stratification at any time of the piece. The picture connects the sounds again to an abstract representation of mountains

Album Credits:

Ulrich Troyer: Composition & Arrangement

Synthesizer, Sampler, Guitar, Field Recordings & Dub Effects Recording & Mixing

Participating musicians:

Jürgen Berlakovich: Electric Bass

Susanna Gartmayer: Contra-Alto clarinet

Didi Kern: Drums & Percussion

Mastering & Vinyl-Cut: Kassian Troyer at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin

Vienna based musician Ulrich Troyer may be best known as a member of The Vegetable Orchestra, but since the 2011 launch of his Songs For William series he’s also been the purveyor of a uniquely cultured dub style. Divided into four movements, Dolomite Dub is his most adventurous exploration of a modern dub genre to date. Mixing live instrumentation with his own bank of FX manipulations, noise and found sound, he has entered the musical zones of place, cracks and slides of ice, shifts in the brittle landscape, cavernous space and stomach-churning drops captured on his seven day alpine hike across the Dolomites. Here he voyages beyond dub invention into pure experience. To be filed alongside the best of Pole. - Steve Barker The Wire, March 2019 - issue 421 (UK)

It’s mesmeric, with a tangible calming influence and a fantastic attention to texture and detail that rewards repeat listens. It’s early doors so far but it seems likely this will be one of my favourite albums of the year. - Stuart Bruce Chain D.L.K. (US)

This is some excellent stuff, a fine blend of such extreme opposites such as dub, field recordings and improvised music. I couldn't offhand think of anyone else doing a something similar and that is perhaps a great accomplishment. - FdW, VITALWEEKLY vital weekly 1166 (NL)

Dolomite Dub is amazing! - Mystica Tribe Artist & Dub Producer, Tokio (Japan)

Really loving the vibes, warm sounds and it's space… Defo have this on repeat!! Good stuff!! - Truenoys A/T/O/S, DEEPMEDI

A really beautiful work - I love it. Much respect! I’m on my third full listen! So many lovely moments. Very inspiring. - Jesse Munro Johnson aka Gulls Boomarm Nation / Zam Zam Sounds, Portland, Oregeon (USA)

Questa personale visione delle Dolomiti austriache diventa un affresco sonoro molto disteso, dove più che descrivere l’altitudine delle montagne, pare ispirarsi all’aria fresca e rarefatta che solo lì si respira. - Gilberto Ongaro Blog, (IT)

Conceptually reflecting on a multi-days hike in the Dolomite mountains set at a constant given speed of 133.3 bpm we see Ulrich Troyer and the participating triumvirate consisting of Jürgen Berlakovich, Susanna Gartmayer and Didi Kern develop a slow moving musical landscape based on dry bass figures, delicate, yet slightly dreamlike, fever'ish and tribalistic, in parts even live played percussions as well as occasional effects on all interwined tracks of the album which, from our perspective, is closer related to styles like Indietronica, (Post)PostRock, late 90s Viennese Future Jazz or Contemporary (Neo)Krautrock than to the original Dub genre although the given references and intersections between these genres are obvious on this album. - BAZE DJUNKIII, Hamburg (DE) NITESTYLEZ.DE, Blog (DE)

This is the soundtrack for troubled times. Masterpiece production. Essential record. - Jamal Affine Records, Vienna (A)

Fascinating album! - Ezra & Tracy Zam Zam Sounds, Portland, Oregon (US)

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