It is always a joy to have Hot Dub Time Machine back on the scene and RECLINE: By Hot Dub Time Machine, debuting in the impressive Fringe stalwart, the Spiegeltent, is no exception. This time, Tom Lowndes and his four decks brought a friend: virtuoso jazz saxophonist Matt Keegan.
The usual suspects make an appearance: the soothing beats of Bjork, London Grammar, Massive Attack and Portishead weave their way through the Spiegeltent, washing over the audience as a dropsheet projects scenes of rolling canola fields, marine life and, adorably, Lowndes’ home movies. The deeper cuts are a mix of nostalgia and the unexpected. Remember how much you loved Underwater Love by Smoke City? You will.
Lowndes stylishly mixes in Roots Manuva and The Weeknd to breathe a bit of soul into the set after opening with an array of soothingly atmospheric beats, with true greats such as like Nancy Sinatra and Bill Withers swirling through the tent, while an Ennio Morricone score surprises and delights the crowd. Keegan’s wind instruments add an extra layer of richness to the tracks, taking Lowndes’ set to another level. RECLINE transitions from the ambient and obscure through to blues and roots, while the holiday vibes wrapping up the show leave the showgoers feeling sundrenched.
There is the occasional misstep. Brick by Ben Folds clangs in the middle of a deeply ambient set, and if you have ever wondered how to make a Radiohead track even more pretentious (look, where is the lie) the answer is a saxophone solo. As a side note, the title is somewhat misleading as the audience is seated on foldup garden chairs inside the Spiegeltent. RECLINE feels as though it should be enjoyed in an outdoors venue with, as Lowndes himself noted, showgoers perched on beanbags, preferably in the sun while enjoying a chilled beverage. However, Lowndes and Keegan are a joy to watch and the entire experience is deeply soothing. If you love music, you will love RECLINE. Lean in. Immerse yourself in the Hot Dub. Enjoy the tunes and the tingles.
RECLINE: By Hot Dub Time Machine runs for two more shows on 15 and 16 March. Buy your tickets here.
Rating: 4 stars
By Leila Hallak-Low