ANDREA LUCARELLI with VERSION XCURSION, DJ REDNOTE and UNDADOGG at Andy Poolhall (489 College), Saturday (December 2). $5, $10 w/ CD. www.versionxcursion.com Rating: NNNNN
Sassa'le and Aram Scaram (better known as the duo Version Xcursion) have been the local champions of new dub for some time, using their CKLN radio show, club nights and record label to push the modern tangents dub has taken.
At this month's edition of their Dub & Beyond party, they're celebrating the release of their newest single, a collaboration with Andrea Lucarelli of downtempo chill-out band Undadogg.
"I love what they play. Their show on Saturday nights is absolutely awesome," Lucarelli gushes. "You don't really hear a lot of shit like that, so it's nice to have those guys playing it. I knew when they asked me to collaborate that I'd love what I heard."
The process was quite different from the way she's used to working with her own band. Instead of a group-based writing approach, VX gave her some instrumentals and she wrote her part separately. They only got together when it was time to record the vocals in the studio.
"I've really only played with my band before this. I was always reluctant to play with other people - out of loyalty, I suppose. I've realized, though, that if it's with like-minded musicians, good people we respect who are on the same wavelength and vibe as us, then it's not cheating."
Undadogg have a long history with Version Xcursion, so it's unlikely that the other members would see this collaboration as musical infidelity. They'll be playing a live acoustic version of their mellow triphop pop earlier in the evening while the show is being broadcast from the club, so you can listen from home to hear how Portishead might sound if they were a folk band.
This acoustic version of Undadogg was actually developed for a previous Dub & Beyond but has since become a semi-regular thing for the usually much more electrified band.
"It allows us to play at a lot more venues - smaller, more intimate venues that aren't fully equipped for bands. And it's a lot easier than lugging all the gear around."
Hopefully, they'll manage to document some of that side of their sound when they go into the studio this winter to spend the government grant money they were recently blessed with, although the temptation will obviously be toward bigger rather than smaller.