I’ve always had an interest in the dynamics of bands and how each member contributes to its sound. That’s what appealed to me about The Children, a short-lived dub band from Louisville, Kentucky. What spares them from obscurity is that their mastermind, Gary Bromley, was the former bass player of esteemed, mysterious 4AD post-punk band Dif Juz.
Though that band may have been known for its dark, mysterious instrumental sounds along the lines of The Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil, there was always a dub undercurrent that I always felt needed to be brought more to the forefront, which is exactly what The Children did. Songs “Ghost Lights,” “Fuzzy Glass,” and “Mr. Ramirez” are heavy on the electronic dub vibe that bands like Sub Oslo and The Orb specialized in, and The Children are damn good at it. Yet to call them strictly a dub band would be dismissive of their range; “DNA” is a post-rock number with a nice Stereolab-like vibe, while “Reigning Blood” and “Blue Boot Journal” both recall Dif Juz’s wonderful, unclassifiable instrumental beauty.
It may have come to an end, but the songs on Ghost Lights are worth the effort of excavation, and it’s a shame that they weren’t around long enough to create more than ten songs. Maybe Bromley will make more music along these lines again, because he’s got a great sense of atmosphere, and Ghost Lights will definitely leave you wanting more.