We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Try pronouncing the name of the Welsh band listed above. So what if it sounds like you’re speaking with rocks in your mouth? Can you say “pwyedrhy”? Me neither, even though I just made it up! Xenophobic jokes aside, the Welsh language, to a linguistic moron like myself, looks like a string of oddly connected consonants. The music of Llwybr Llaethog (pronounced kwee-br kwae-thog—no, really), however, speaks the universal language of dub. The promo sticker affixed to the cover uniquely proclaims, “U.K. Activist Dub: Trip-Hop, Acid-Jazz, Jungle, African & Heavy Bass Reggae Influences!” I also hear elements of Strauss, Springsteen, and Stryper floating around the mix. Actually, the quartet primarily takes its cues from Gang of Four’s dancey third album, Songs of the Free, Adrian Sherwood’s out-there On-U Sound posse, and the Clash’s dance-dub remixes. In fact, “Rhyfel (War in Baghdad Isn’t My Bag Daddio)” could be the follow-up to “Rock the Casbah.” Llwybr Llaethog possesses all the tools of the dubwise trade—sound effects from Venus, cavernous echo, and consistently deep beats—even though Wales is more known for its sheep than its riddims. Mewn Dyb (In Dub) was originally released in the U.S. in 1991 on cassette only, but praise ROIR for its vigorous campaign of CD reissues from its obscure—and outstanding—dub catalog.—Christopher Porter