Somnambule - Writing About Music

Dwight Trible & The Light Force Trio ~ Love Is The Answer

Love Is The Answer presents a thali-like succession of jazz-inflected hiphop flavours cooked up by the likes of Sa-Ra, Madlib, Daedalus, Jay-Dee and others. The project was initiated and organised by Carlos Nino, one half of Ammoncontact. Trible himself is a jazz singer little-known outside a small circle of initiates, although his career has included work with the likes of vibist Bobby Hutcherson and saxophonists Pharaoh Sanders and Charles Lloyd.

Blast Off sets the scene by swirling sung quotes from A Love Supreme into a near-psychedelic storm. Equipoise stirs a weird mix of ingredients including 70s disco/funk (think Roy Ayers), hiphop, jazz and electro. Trible’s voice is located somewhere just behind the music and this conveys the impression of somebody struggling to be heard. It’s a strange affair that, after a number of listens, has refused to settle into place – yet there’s a nagging feeling that it just might at some future point. Freedom Dance is less chaotic, featuring as it does bouncy bass, flickering beats and groovy Fender waves. Again Trible’s voice refuses to occupy centre stage – not necessarily a bad thing, but the effect remains unsettling. The realisation begins to dawn that the odd element is the voice itself, at least for this listener. Its tone lacks clout, the necessary oomph to persuade. This may be attributable to production values, but it doesn’t help. The Rhythm improves things somewhat, by reining in the backing, but then Waves Of Infinite Harmony returns to the neo-psychedelic leanings of previous tracks. In fact it proves to be the strongest piece so far, awash with queasy analogue synths, clattering drums and hiphop ghosts.

It’s difficult to draw a bead on Love Is The Answer. Perhaps there are no easy answers (apart from the titular one). Fans of 70s soul-oriented jazz by the likes of Pharaoh Sanders, Doug Carn, Andy Bey or Alice Coltrane should certainly check it out, as should fans of Ammoncontact, cLOUDDEAD and its Anticon affiliates. This is potentially a grower, but for this listener it’s still unclear whether persistence will necessarily pay dividends. Best to check the samples on the NinjaTune site. Whether smorgasbord or cook’s muddle, if you’re unsure about Trible’s vocals they’re mostly excised on the accompanying instrumentals disc. These versions reveal the richness of the productions on show.
Colin Buttimer
July 2005
Published by Milkfactory