Josh points out this Motion review of Aaliyah’s fine “Try Again” single, which is well-written but does rather make you agree with Simon Reynolds’ suggestion in the latest Wire that ‘intellectual’ pop writers are now chronically incapable of writing about innovative studio-based music without mentioning dub. It seems pretty obvious to these ears that disco is at least as much an influence on Timbaland as dub is (“Try Again” is pretty much an acid house track, and check the gorgeously discoid string frissons all over tracks like “Love To Love U” and “Up Jumps The Boogie”), but everything studio-bound apparently has to spiral back to dub sooner or later.

Gareth Metford’s argument seems to boil down to: there’s loads of stuff going on in a Tim production, and you have to listen hard to catch it all. Which is true, but I don’t particularly see any socio-economic implications in that suggestion (This being Motion, maybe he just needs an excuse for listening hard to a Top 5 single). As for “Mosley’s stripped-back soundworld provides the listener with plenty of ‘affective headroom’ into which his or her subjectivity can flow” – well, sure it might, but this ‘affective headroom’ can hardly be a constant, can it? One moment you might want Tim and Aaliyah’s spacious approach, the next it might do nothing for you at all. You can’t in other words suggest an objective cause (stripped-down-ness) which creates the conditions for subjective interaction, because all interaction is necessarily subjective.

Good review, though, still.