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Rob Smith Up On the Downs

As half of definitive early-'90s acts Smith & Mighty and More Rockers, Rob Smith was largely responsible for bringing reggae and dub influences into the burgeoning electronic dance scene. On Up On the Downs, Smith occasionally speaks to the clubber-notably on a patois-heavy bass-monster known as "Question"-but mostly concentrates on pensive vibe tracks, peppering his album with trilling chimes, airy electronic woodwinds and, at one point, a miasma of rock guitars. All 12 tracks are more tasteful and toothsome than most downtempo fare, but knowing Smith's talent with low-end frequencies, one might have hoped for something more raw.

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