Dabrye: Game Over
Ghostly International

Ann Arbor's Tadd Mullinix follows previous Dabrye releases One/Three (Ghostly) and Instrmntl (Eastern Developments) with the massive head-nodder “Game Over.” Offering an enticing preview of the upcoming Ghostly full-length Two/Three, the 12” drops four versions of the title track, with Detroit's Jay Dee and MC Phat Kat strafing vocals across three of them, plus the new “Magic Says.” The definitive “Game Over (street)” conjures a minimal groove of lurching beats, handclaps, needly synth accents, and lush horns, but Dabrye's crowning touch is the druggy coiled bell that pings throughout. Of course, much of that's buried once Dee and Kat start relentlessly trading rhymes (As Dee says, “You don't want me and Kat to spit, it's game over”), so including an instrumental version isn't a bad idea; the “radio” and “a cappella” versions are, however, incidental, even if the latter does allows the lyrics to be heard more clearly without the instrumental backing. The equally impressive “Magic Says” is bass-heavy dub bathed in vinyl crackle and sweetened by exotic flutes; Dabrye repeats the song's rhythm over and over before coyly releasing the tension with a snare hit. At the beginning of “Game Over,” the MCs proclaim, “Detroit makes the world go 'round,” a convincing sentiment based on the evidence here.

October 2004