fri 19/04/2024

The Dark Side of the Moon: Dub Side of the Moon | reviews, news & interviews

The Dark Side of the Moon: Dub Side of the Moon

The Dark Side of the Moon: Dub Side of the Moon

The silliest DSotM tribute - and maybe the best?

Dub Side of the Moon

There's a lot about stoner culture that smacks of earnestness, and The Dark Side of the Moon has been at the heart of a good deal of that. The number of long, dreary, late-night conversations that must have taken place over “doobs” and “munchies” about its themes of life, death, madness, desperation and all the rest doesn't even bear thinking about.

But there is a whole other side to the album that was about – yes, really – fun, and also sensual pleasure; as a teenager in the late Eighties/early Nineties, for me DSotM was about giggles and immersion, about getting a stoned friend to drift off with it on headphones then suddenly blasting the volume up for the alarm clocks of “Time” with hilarious consequences, or about getting the same euphoric rushes from “The Great Gig in the Sky” as we did from rave tunes.

Which is why I also love 2003's Dub Side of the Moon by Easy Star All Stars: because, although it is put together with the utmost musical seriousness, with impeccable playing by its Brooklyn-based musicians and guest spots from some legendary Jamaican vocalists, it is also very silly and it knows it. The great thing about dub is that it's always been a fusion of the ridiculous and the sublime, the noises of dogs barking, bubbling bongs and sproinging bedsprings woven around apocalyptic bass and vertiginous spaces.

So this album perfectly punctured the platitudinous over-seriousness that surrounds DsotM, perfectly capturing the giggly, dancey side of stonerism, while at the same time providing a surprisingly profound listening experience at points. Actually ESAS would go on to do this significantly better in 2006 with their Radiodread remake of Radiohead's OK Computer – but this remains a brilliant confection: not just a cheap and gaudy sweetie for late-night munchies but a multi-layered fine-dining dessert.

Watch Easy Star All Stars perform "Money" live

More articles about The Dark Side of the Moon on theartsdesk

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