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JDUB releases free digital Sabbath album

cd coverNew York, NY (April 5th, 2011)-- Walking around a small and dusty record store in Brooklyn one weekend, something odd caught Rob Markoff's eye as he dug through old vinyl: "Sing Out it's Shabbos" was described as "A folk rock Sabbath celebration by the young people of Temple Shaari Emeth, Englishtown, New Jersey." Rob had never seen a record like this before, and he was instantly attracted to the colorized photos splayed across the sleeve in yellow, red and blue, depicting Chuck Taylor-clad teenagers strumming guitars against a curtained backdrop-- a sign above them reading "Give God the Nod." Markoff felt immediately nostalgic for the '70s synagogue of his youth, in which the congregants feathered their hair and the rabbis played guitar and sang in harmony, so he opened his wallet, forked over two bucks, and rushed home to listen.

Sabbapath will be released for free April 5th, 2011 through JDubDigital.com

Expecting a low-fi, folk rock album, Rob was disappointed to find that "Sing Out's" packaging had been misleading. The recording quality of the album was poor, and the songs were all acoustic, rather than the '70s-era group chanting and singing style he had hoped for. Nonetheless, Rob was oddly struck by the Rabbi leading the service, whose voice was never credited on the record. He felt a mysterious connection to this unknown Rabbi's declaration that everyone is affected by an "unseen dimension" in their lives.

Having played in indie bands since the mid-'90s, Rob recognized that he had the means to create a work which would live up to the "folk rock Sabbath celebration" touted on the cover. He decided to produce his own album, using as its framework the Sabbath ceremony of 1974 and the unknown Rabbi's theme of "the unseen dimension."

In order to achieve a lo-fi sound, Markoff recorded Sabbapath on cassette through a Tascam 8-track, ultimately re-creating almost every song and prayer. He kept the voice of the Rabbi on Sabbapath, using reverb effects to give the Rabbi's voice an otherworldly and nostalgic quality. Calling on musician friends James Botha ("Francis Friday") and Kevin Kajetzke ("No Band for Lluvia") to help him with vocals and instrumentation including harmonium, flute and autoharp, Rob was able to make Sabbapath into the alternative Shabbat album he had always imagined it would be.

After Sabbapath was mixed, Rob sent his creation to Kramer, founder of New York record label Shimmy Disc and producer of Galaxie 500, LOW, and Pulp Fiction's "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon." Struck by the album, Kramer agreed to master the recording and inspired the group to release the album on a wider scale.

Sabbapath, through Markoff's vision, remixes and re-contextualizes the traditional Friday night service. It features spirited singing, droning voices, flutes, harmonium, strum stick, guitars and autoharp to create a singular, psychedelic, celebratory freak-folk album. Sabbapath is the Shabbat service Rob Markoff had hoped to hear when he first discovered "Sing Out It's Shabbos" in the little record store in Brooklyn three years ago.

Sabbapath will be released for free April 5th, 2011 through JDubDigital.com