TWILIGHT CIRCUS DUB SOUND SYSTEM with DJs DENISE BENSON, ANDREW ALLSGOOD, SASSA'LE, CHOCOLATE and DAVID JUDAH at Gypsy Co-op (817 Queen West), Wednesday (January 23). $8. 416-703-5069.
With album titles like Bin Shaker Dub and Volcanic Dub, there's little question that Ryan Moore's Twilight Circus Dub Sound System is the real dub deal.
No antiseptic, 21st-century digi-dub here. The BC-born, Amsterdam-based Moore is strictly old school, creating the kind of analog dub that rattles your rib cage and is a rewind back to the 70s riddims of King Tubby, Errol T and Lee Perry.
There is no accommodation for current styles or tastes. Moore does everything on the Twilight Circus sessions himself, and despite being a fan of more contemporary club and electronic music, refuses to get out of the fantastically earthy dub that's dominated his nine records so far.
"I'm actually listening to a lot of hardcore jungle these days," Moore laughs from home. "That kind of stuff is similar to what I'm doing, getting down and dirty for the clubs. It's a good deal faster than the music I make. The problem is, my brain doesn't operate that fast. I'm more on the dub channel.
"My brain is analog, and that's really how I work. Everything's done straight to tape on an analog desk with no drum machines. It doesn't get any more straightforward than this. Technology gives you too many choices.
"I'm working on some other stuff that's more tripped out. I don't think I'd release it under the Circus moniker. It's still dub-ish, but there are things like heavy metal dub that would totally freak people out. I don't want to get stuck with a particular formula. My role is to keep dub mutating in an interesting way."
Beyond his steady stream of Twilight Circus releases -- at least one a year, plus the archival Dub Plate series of unreleased riddims -- Moore's best way to keep the music fresh is by playing live. Considering that live dub shows are usually boring affairs featuring a bunch of studio musicians and a wizard behind the mixing desk, it's no surprise that Moore's decided to go the solo route and mash it up in his own unique style.
"It's like Twilight Circus times three," Moore chuckles. "I'm taking the idea of a DJ and twisting it around.
"It's a combination of stuff from vinyl, unreleased dub plates, live bass, mini-disc and live mixing. It's multi-tasking.
"I used to do the whole live band style, with the live drums and bass, but there was a lot of pressure to be the performer and give a proper show. This is really just the essence of the music brought to life."