Before I found Blundetto, I missed him at least a half dozen times. He was right in front of my eyes, every time I was on the website of Heavenly Sweetness, one of the most lovely labels on the planet. It’s not like I didn’t really notice him, going through the catalog of artists and looking at all the albums I would love to add to my collection. Blundetto. Sure. For some reason I didn’t read the bio. It could have saved me a lot of wondering about what happened to the guys who were Vista Le Vie.
Two guys from France had teamed up for this short-lived project, recording two mini-albums and one proper long player. I really liked the album, “A Futuristic Family Film”, taking it for a spin a lot of times when I was djing at the bar, and I had always wondered why this project never really took off and disappeared faster than it was created.
As you might have guessed already – Blundetto is one of those guys. Max Guiguet. And the reason why I didn’t find him earlier is quite simple as well – after Vista Le Vie, he was simply gone for almost five years, working in his studio, figuring out who he wanted to be, what he wanted to do and defining the musical cosmos he would call his home.
Fast forward to what is his latest release, “Good Good Dub”. It is the result of a sort of tradition Blundetto started a few years back, to release his album twice – once as a “regular” album and a second time as a dub version. Just like he turned “World Of” into “World Of Dub” in 2015, “Good Good Things” was followed up with this little gem.
I will definitely curse myself for finding Blundetto about four weeks too late to be able to order one of the severely limited vinyl editions of this album. I settled for the files. Roundabout 26 minutes, a mini-album. One that has the power to make you happy.
Whatever Monsieur Guiguet did during his years of contemplation, the result is characterized by a level of serenity that borders on the other-worldly. Already on his regular albums because it seems that the world they come from is one that is populated by only the friendly people. The nice ones, the ones with a good sense of humor, the ones who can laugh about themselves. Just listen to the first track of his first album, a wonderfully playful and humorous, superbly relaxed version of Bob James’ “Nautilus” – and that’s already a legendarily relaxed piece of music.
The dub versions of his albums – and this one in particular – take this otherworldliness to a blissful extreme. Not surprisingly, you will say, that’s what dub does to music. But that’s not the point. Blundetto dub is some special sort of dub. He uses all of the typical elements of the genre, plenty of echo space, everything reduced to the max, but there’s something else. Every single track sounds as if all of the friendly people of this playful little world had gotten rid of all things difficult, everything complicated, each and every worry. None of this exists, it’s all play, joy, lightness.
Yes, the contrast to what the world is like in 2021 is intensifying the effect, and I am more than happy to put on the headphones, leave everything behind that worries me, listen to Blundetto dub and let myself be reminded that all of the things that have the power to make us happy are still there.
Just a minute of “Fly Dub” is enough to convince anyone. The simplest of songs ever, a strange little beauty that is dreamy and slightly wistful, but strangely self-assured, as if it knew something we don’t. Two and a half minutes into the song, the wonderful Hindi Zahra adds her voice to this gentle reverie, and if you aren’t happy by then you can’t be helped.
Not all of the tracks are as ethereal as this one. Some are a little more rooted in established dub traditions such as “Menina Dub” and “Dub Azucar”. Others keep much of the vocal parts of the original (plus mandatory echo chamber treatment of course). “Canasta” especially, featuring Telly on vocals. I am not a big fan of sending vocals through autotune all too much, to say it gently. But somehow Telly gets away with it. Don’t ask me how.
I still prefer the natural and super soft vocals of Leonardo Marques on “Attras Desse Céu (Early Bird Version)”. It’s the one track that doesn’t fully fit the dub theme, even brings back memories of turn-of-the-millennium downtempo classics – but no, we don’t complain. A heartwarming little gem.
Our friend Blundetto is a smart and caring man. He closes with “Feel The Dub” and returns to the more ethereal and carefree moments of the opening track, featuring Hindi Zahra again, and it’s impossible not to think of Lisa Simone in her finest moments.
Forgive me for almost swooning here, but this really is a beautiful little masterpiece. Hard to say it any other way. And I am really glad I found out what happened to the guy from Vista Le Vie. He went on to create an even nicer world.
BLUNDETTO – GOOD GOOD DUB – HEAVENLY SWEETNESS – HS216 – 9/10
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