Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Now to be totally honest I do generally prefer a bit of vocals with my music so when it comes to the choice between dub version or vocal version you know which one I'll pick. Having said that though there are some mighty fine dub versions and dub artists out there who can do some really great and interesting things with other people's tunes, or creating these mystical soundscape forms from scratch.
The origins of dub are said to have come about quite by chance when in Kingston in around 1968, sound system operator Ruddy Redwood went to Duke Reid's Treasure Isle studio to cut a one-off dub plate. The engineer Byron Smith, it is told left the vocal track out by accident, but Redwood liked this keeping the result and played it at his next dance with his deejay Wassy toasting over the rhythm. This went down a storm and the idea of mixing an instrumental / dub version of a song was born.
Errol Thompson is credited with having released the first strictly instrumental reggae album, in 1970, entitled "The Undertaker", and was performed by Derrick Harriott and the Crystalites. This innovative album credits "Sound Effects" to Derrick Harriott.
The real pioneers of dub though in those early days are widely accepted as being producers Osbourne "King Tubby" Ruddock, and Lee "Scratch" Perry. Similar experiments with recordings at the mixing desk were also done by producers Clive Chin, Herman Chin Loy and Lynval Anderson (aka Andy Capp). These producers, especially Tubby and Perry, looked upon the mixing desk as an instrument, and experimented with, and manipulated tracks to come up with something totally new and different from the tunes original format.
The main reason for producing these multiple dub versions in the early days was purely economic: a record producer could use a recording he owned to produce numerous versions from a single studio session, and so milk more money back from his original outlay. A dub version also gave a producer or remix engineer opportunity to show off their more creative side. These dubs were typically the B-side of a single, with the A-side dedicated to making a popular hit, and these B-sides also became the start to providing something for DJs to ‘chat’ / ‘toast’ over. In the mid to late 1970s dub was becoming so popular that a dub version of an existing vocal LP was some times released along side or a few months after the vocal version. Also dubbed up instrumental tracks for which no vocals existed were now being produced. Indeed in the early 80s, as well as helping popularise reggae with a white audience UB40's “Present Arms In Dub” became the first ever reggae dub album to hit the UK top 40.
Dub has continued to progress from that point to this, its popularity waxing and waning with changes in musical fashion. Almost all reggae singles still carry an instrumental version on the B-side and these are still used by many sound systems as a blank canvas for live singers and DJs. Dub can also be looked upon as the prelude to many dance and pop music genres, techno, jungle, dubstep, drum and bass, house music, and trip hop to name but a few. Also over the past few years some bands with a passing reggae influence have released dub LP’s of their original versions. Some notable records are Gorillaz vs Spacemonkeyz “Laika Come Home”, a dubbed up version of the Gorillaz debut (reviewed here this month). The Dead 60s excellent 2Tone, Clash, inspired debut also received the same treatment, with its 3 minute stomps reduced down to some fine 3 minute dubs by Central Nervous System. Hard Fi’s whose “Stars of CCTV” was a big hit in the UK, also took what I believe was a very courage’s career decision, which was to allow their chart topping 750000 odd selling LP to be completely remixed by the likes of Roots Manuva, Gran Tourismo and Wrongtom who has also dubbed up work for the likes of Pama International.
So dub today….having seen the Dub Echoes DVD and heard the CD there is proof that the style is still very much alive and kicking and maybe even having a bit of resurgence thanks in part to the work of people like Roots Manuva, Wrongtom and also the Dub Step style. One thing I do feel I can say with confidence though is that despite dub coming about by 'accident' this style of reggae has had a more far reaching effect and influence on people and music than all the other reggae styles put together.
Check out Rockers Revolt for a bit of a movers and shakers in Dub A - Z
Don't forget to download a special dub mix by our very own King of the Dubwise Excursion...Gibsy. The mix includes dubs by King Tubby, Scientist, Prince Jammy & Mikey Dread plus more. It is only available for a short while so grab it while you can! (the link is somewhere on the right hand side)
You can also tune in to Sound Of Now to hear these and many more dubs in full
1. kING tUBBY - dUB gONE cRAZY
2. Scientist v Prince Jammy- Big Showdown
3. Pick A Dub - Kieth Hudson
4. Laika Come Home - Gorillaz vs Spacemonkeyz
5. Massive Attack vs Mad Profesor
If you would like to add your Top 5 dubs then please do so in the comments or send us them at the email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll dress 'em up a bit and add them on here, we'd love to know what you like!
…."Reggae’s answer to psychedelia ,well that’s how I’ve always thought of it ,discovering dub music for the first time back in ’81/’82 was a joy ,collecting all those ‘dub me crazy’ LPs
Buying everything by Scientist and Jammy, then belatedly discovering the king of them all; King Tubby, every Friday after work going to the record shop and buying everything in sight that was dub and it continued up to ’87. I found the dub sound via my interest in instrumentals or versions as they’re called, normally B sides of vinyl singles, the first being “Double Barrel” and “Liquidator” (both A sides) then via B sides of 2 tone singles such as The Selecter and ‘The Buisness’ by Madness..all these grabbed my ears and I embarked on a search for more, I wanted more from an instrumental, more excitement…which led to dub.
Now not all dub is great, no sah, not all music is great, I would say that it’s very rare to come across an LP where every single song is a stomper, doesn’t exist imo, everyone’s ears are different, but when you came across a stomper of a dub, then, that got played, and played..
And they still do nearly 30 years on….I remember during my teens listening time and time again through headphones at every little tweak and effect that was going on, trying to suss out how they managed it all, completely turning a well known tune upside down and in some
cases changing the vibe so much that it was difficult to actually imagine how the original sounded, they became these dubs original in their own right, they amazed and still do.
Today the dub sound continues in various forms, genres and fusions with underground artist’s such as JAHNO – EL BIB – JACIN – YABASS – The MANOR – EARLYWORM and a host of Others who have taken a slice of their favourite dub era or producer and now themselves create and recreate those sounds using their own unique way of mixing to identify their inspirations and by and large they get it spot on.
It’s now though that a mention must be made of the late great Mikey Dread, Jamaican radio pioneer and dub controller who alongside Lee ‘scratch’ Perry and King Tubby made some truly exciting and commercially viable dub entertainment and by also operating his DATC radio show for a few years gave many of these dub pioneers a wider audience via radio play.
The list of dub pioneers and second wave dub controllers is immense but for me I grew up with the sounds of Scientist, Prince Jammy, King Tubby, Mad Professor, and Lee Perry. It’s these Guys that I owe a gratitude to for giving me hundreds of musical hours of wonderment back in the early eighties..it’s still my favourite reggae genre , cheers".
1 Uhuru in dub - Prince Jammy
2 Dub me crazy pt 4 - Mad Professor
3 New chapter in dub - Aswad
4 Scientist rids the world of evil curse of the vampires
5 King Tubby’s Special
1 Joe Gibbs - African Dub chapter1
2 Joe Gibbs - chapter2
3 Joe Gibbs - chapter3
4 Joe Gibbs - chapter4
5 Augustus Pablo - Original Rockers
As time has passed, even more material has come to light and albums that saw only limited release are now easily available.
1. ASWAD - New Chapter in Dub, 'Candles'
2. THE AGGROVATORS - Instrumental Reggae
3. AUGUSTUS PABLO - East of the River Nile, 'Chant to King Sellasie I'
4. IN THE RED ZONE (compilation) - Augustus Pablo Meets the Upsetter, 'Vibrate On'
5. TROJAN DUB BOX SET VOL.2 - Niney & the Soul Syndicate, 'Smile Dub'
Marc from Walkup Records top 5
1.Barrington Levy - In Dub: The Lost Mixes From King Tubby's Studio
2.Black Uhuru - The Dub Factor
3.If Deejay Was Your Trade: The Dreads at King Tubby's 1974-1977
4.Augustus Pablo - King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown
5.Linton Kwesi Johnson - LKJ In Dub
1 KING TUBBY – DUB FROM THE ROOTS
2 HERMAN CHIN LOY – AQUARIUS DUB
3 KEITH HUDSON – PICK A DUB
4 AUGUSTUS PABLO – ORIGINAL ROCKERS
5 BB SEATON – GUN COURT DUB
The film is a well put together scrapbook of everything that’s on youtube, or at least that’s how it comes across, but tidied up and presented with order. Again not a bad thing having all of the good stuff, the archive footage etc, in one place. Also nice to see some veterans of the era interviewed in person. The soundtrack to the film itself, has a few interesting moments, and I thought had a nice mixture of old and new styles, while Gibsy on the other hand thought there could have been more “old skool sounds” from the originators. One thing we are both agreed on though, is seeing as it’s about dub and by and large its origins, it would have been nice to have some of the surviving dub pioneers that appeared in the film demonstrate fully what they do in the studio, an exclusive insight ‘dub lesson’ would have been very enjoyable and more true to the title of the film as well.
So despite a few gripes, especially for the veteran fan of reggae music, “Dub Echoes” is a colourful and well edited documentary that skips along at a nice pace, and is certainly one of the best reggae documentaries we’ve seen.
DUB ECHOES DVD
DUB ECHOES CD/LPAvailable on Triple LP
1. Witness Dub - Roots Manuva
2. Creation - Congo Natty/Rebel MC
3. Sega Beats - Disrupt
4. Wings of A Dove - Bim Sherman and Dub Syndicate
5. Dirtbox - Harmonic 313
6. Psalms Of Dub - King Tubby
7. Sine - Kode9 And Space Ape
8. Sign Version - King Jammy
9. Rootsman Dub - U Roy And Francois Kervorkian
1. Ruffer Version Aggrovators
2. CCTV - IV feat. Dandelion
3. Queen of my Empire - Rhythm and Sound w/ Cornel Campbell
4. King Tubby and Aggrovators - Jah Jah Jehovah Version
5. Deb Dub - DigitalDubs
6. Dub - Fat Eyes
7. Congoman - The Congos
8. Cotti - Run Tings
9. Rejoicing Skank - Upsetters
1.King Tubby and Soul Syndicate - freedom sounds in dub
2.Fatman Riddim Section - heavyweight dub/killer dub
3.Scientist rids the world of the curse of the evil vampires
4.Aswad - new chapter of dub
5.Prince Far I - cry tuff dub chapter 2
Hudson was a producer, writer, arranger and singer, who was born into a musically inclined family; His grandfather was a noted musician who played with many Cuban bands, in Kingston, Jamaica in 1946. Hudson's own musical education began though as a kind of roadie for Skatalite and trombone king Don Drummond, as he used to hold Drummond's trombone for him, just so he could be in the studio. At the age of 21 however, after training as a dentist, but having been inspired by Coxsone's Downbeat sound system, he decided to sink his earnings into starting his own record label, Inbidimts (meaning 'know sound' according to Hudson's sleeve notes to 'Furnace'). He got off to a great start with a recording of "Old Fashioned Way", with its timeless rhythm and melody, sung by the immaculate Ken Boothe, and it reached number one in Jamaica. Due to this chart success, the unexpectedly hot Hudson was soon producing some of the biggest names, and soon-to-be biggest names in reggae, John Holt, Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, and he also had the vision to recognise the soon-to-be DJ phenomenon by cutting U Roy's first tune "Dynamic Fashion Way" long before Duke Reid got the DJ into the studio for Treasure Isle. All of these artists benefited from what would be Hudson's trademark production style: groove-centred, bass/drum-dominated, lean and mean stripped-down riddims.
1972 proved to be Hudson's watershed year as he produced Big Youth's biggest ever hit Ace 90 Skank, and this places the producer at the pinnacle of Jamaican popular music. With this Hudson, the self-confessed "flash little yout" released a flood of Jamaican 7" releases on his own labels such as Rebind, Mamba (after the black and deadly snake) and the already mentioned Imbidimts, that were more potent tunes, laced with menace. Tunes such as 'Satan Side', 'Don't Think About Me' and 'A Place In Africa'. However, this doom-laden, brooding music did not find an enthusiastic audience in Jamaica and, it was this type of sound that led to him being known ominously as "The Dark Prince of Reggae".
Like so much of the enduring music produced on the island over the decades these releases were destined to be pressed locally in small quantities or released overseas, and thus Hudson's decided to move away from Jamaica to continue his musical career.
A batch of UK-only, highly conceptualised LPs were released such as 'Entering the Dragon', 'Torch of Freedom' and 'Flesh of My Skin...', plus the classic LP 'Pick A Dub', all of which gained great critical acclaim, and encouraged by this and perhaps through his musical and physical dislocation from Jamaica, Hudson decided to concentrate on his own music now rather than producing for others. His vocals, which have been variously described as "eerie", "awkward" and "discordant" sit perfectly within a dub mix. In recognition of this and the popularity of his dubs on UK sound systems such as Fatman, he decided to take the pioneering step of releasing a dub set, 'Brand', a year or so before the accompanying vocal LP 'Rasta Communication'.
In 1979 Hudson though decided to return to DJ production duties, this time for his friend, Militant Barry, and utilised many of the riddims from 'Brand' for Barry's set 'Green Valley', before returning back to his own material with 1981's 'Playing It Cool, Playing It Right'. In an interview in the same year, Hudson, now firmly based in New York, expressed his desire for Jamaican acceptance and to be able to play there live for the first time, but with the failure of these releases to connect with a Jamaican public now obsessed with Dancehall, the man's musical exile was made complete when at the age of 38, he succumbed to lung cancer in1984, leaving reggae without of one it's most adventurous and unheralded producers and performers.
Now I really enjoyed the remix which made it in to the charts over here on the initial release of Gorillaz in 2001 (Clint Eastwood - Ed Case/Sweetie Irie Refix). However when I got to listen to the Gorillaz LP it was not quite what I was expecting and subsequently I didn’t give it much of a play, so I was rather intrigued as to what I was going to get here.
The LP was originally released in 2002 and what you do get is a stripped down and heavily remixed dub album, with the majority of the songs being completely unrecognizable from their original forms. The album is full of tunes with haunting melodica, throbbing keyboard and sparkly out bursts of echoing horns and deep pounding bass lines. Nothing out of the ordinary there, for those of you with dub music leanings, but it is quite different for those of you with Damon Albarn persuasions. Most of the songs have a quite lovely dreamy appeal, especially “Monkey Racket (Man Research)” and “Starshine (Dub 09)”. While “P45 (5/4)” and “Lil' Dub Chefin' (M1A1)” pick up the pace and have a dubbed up 2-tone sound to them, but then “Lil' Dub Chefin' (M1A1)” should as it features vocals from Terry Hall. Other artists featured on here are U Brown, Earl 16 and 2D. The killer track on here for me is Strictly Rubbadub (Slow Country), with its simple child like piano hook at the beginning and end and featuring the aforementioned U Brown on the mic fandubintastic.
So if you are a fan of the Gorillaz, but never been enlightened by the joys of dub or you can’t stand Damon Albarn, don’t let this cloud your judgement and give this musical journey a try.
Full Track List:
1 Jungle Fresh (19/2000)
2 Strictly Rubbadub (Slow Country)
3 Banana Baby (Tomorrow Comes Today)
4 Monkey Racket (Man Research)
5 De-Punked (Punk)
6 P45 (5/4)
7 Dub 09 (Starshine)
8 Crooked Dub (Soundcheck)
9 Mutant Genus (New Genius)
10 Come Again (Re-Hash)
11 Fistful Of Peanuts (Clint Eastwood), A
12 Lil' Dub Chefin' (M1A1)
13 Fistful Of Peanuts, A - (Version)
J.A.H.N.O. was born in the mountains of Auvergne, France. Introduced to music in his childhood by his mother, herself a pianist and organist, she teaches him the essentials of keyboard. At the age of 5, he goes to music school and begins trumpet for 5 years. Then, he tries saxophone, continuing musical theory. At age 15, after 5 years of saxophone, J.A.H.N.O decides to beat the barrels (normal when you live in the rue des caves (= cellarstreet).
In 1998, after exploring the drums, inspired by the rhythms of Sly Dunbar, he falls in love with reggae drumming technique. At that time, he has lessons with Christophe Merzet, master of the Tambours d’Auvergne. In 2000, J.A.H.N.O. and some musicians from Clermont-Ferrand form the «Magwaman Riddim Section». This backing-band plays around the regions’ bars and parties during 3 years. They used to be support acts of U-ROY, BIG YOUTH & MAX ROMEO, ANTHONY B, SLY & ROBBIE, IMPROVISATORS DUB, ZENZILE a.o. The band splits in 2002, but will reborn under the same name with new electro-dub elements. From then on, J.A.H.N.O. pushes his own musical project of oldschool sounding dub forward.
From the center of France Jahno try to (re)produce some"rootsy" reggae music. 70's jamaican dub sound is his main musical & technical influence. Working with mid class and cheap studio equipment he try to recreate reggae riddims that keep that "oldskool" grainy sound.
Playin live drums, various percussions and recording it straight to multitrack, keybords and bass parts recorded live to the midi recorder, jahno dedicated his little studio to combines digital and analog technology with always in mind of soundin' different from others. Multitrack recording being done in digital and two track mixdown done in analog.
For the "rotten roots" track Jahno is helped by kemist kris of Reality Shock Records UK based artist stable & record label creation. Kris played kete repeater drum and guitar rythm.
Dub mixes are recorded and mixed only on a 4 tracks roland sp808 due to budget necessity. Dub mixes are done in one live pass, with sp808 parameters controlled live with a midi controller and combined with external analog FX.
DON'T FORGET TO SWITCH OFF THE FLASHPLAYER BEFORE PLAYING!
DTX v.2 drum trigger & sound module
Oberheim B3² sound module
Atari st midi recorder & sequencer
Roland SP808 4 track recorder and sampler
Kenton midi controler
SPL gold mike dual mic preamp
DBX 386 dual mic preamp + A/D convertor
SPL Kultube stereo compressor
Symetrix 525 dual mono compressor
Symetrix 511 dual expander and dynamic LPF
SPL Transient Designer 4
SPL Qure dual mono 3 band parametric eq
Moog Mooger fooger Phaser
Home modified Orban 111b dual spring reverb
Home modified MAM spring reverb
Klemt NG51S "Echolette" tape echo
Yamaha Mix EM 200 8 track monitoring
Tascam BR20T 2 track 1/4" tape recorder
2 X Tascam 32 patch bay
Taken from http://www.tantyrecord.com/