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Colin Larkin

Related: reggae - encyclopedia

A definition of DUB [...]

Essentially reggae in the raw, this cultish, perennially popular for strips out the majority of the music's melody at the mixing desk, leaving behind the rhythm section ('drum 'n' bass' music in reggae parlance) and the residue of other instruments, often with massive layers of echo. Reggae records with crashing effects and decidedly eccentric arrangements date back to the ska era. By 1969-70 many producers among them Lee Perry, Chin-Randy's, Joe Gibbs, Bunny Lee and Lynford 'Andy Capp' Anderson, were making largely instrumental music that was heavily independent on the rhythm section (the Upsetters' 'Clint Eastwood' in 1970, for example), and it took only the addition of delay units such as the Copycat and Echoplate to create the dub boom.

In 1972, encouraged by Bunny Lee, King Tubby, an electronics engineer and sound system owner, began to mix records in four- track, and by late 1973 his name graced many b-side ' versions' (the name is a corruption of instrumental version, or 'Version 2') of other people's records, notably those of Bunny Lee and Lee Perry. At the same time, engineer Sylvan Morris at Haary J./Studio One, and Errol Thompson at Randy's, also experimented with the dub sound. Occasional, very limited-pressing dub ambums began to appear in the shops, and quickly became collectors' items. Among the best-known of these were Perry/Tubby collaborations, including the ingenious stereo LP Blackboard Jungle Dub, which had three different mixes, one for each speaker and one for both, and King Tubby Meets The Upsetter At The Grass Roots Of Dub, a record that was the underground reggae album of 1974 in the UK. Tubby's uniquely precise, often stunningly heavy mixes also graced numerous Bunny Lee productions on his Jackpot, Justice and Attack labels.

By the mid-70s virtually no reggae singles were released without a dub version on the flip side, and artists such as Augustus Pablo and Glen Brown had created a career from instrumental music in dub form. New engineers such as Prince (later King) Jammy, Pat Kelly (also a singer) and Scientist gradually took over from the original dub mixers, but by 1982 the original boom was pretty much finished, save a few die-hard such as UK engineer-producers Mad Professor and Adrian Sherwood. However, by 1991 a new breed of dub-inspired musicians, such as Jah Shaka, Sound Iration and the Disciples, had founded the 'new roots' movement, and placed the music back on the map, albeit with digital equipment and modern intentions.

DUB PLATE - A dub plate is simply an acetate cut onto a plastic-coated metal disc, featuring an unusual mix of a well-known record, or a recording unavalaible elsewhere, and used by a sound system to promote the exclusivity of the music it plays. 'Dubs' are highly prized by collectors, particularly those cut by King Tubby's or King Jammy's, or those that feature famous artists offering amended renditions of classics. --the Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, C. Larkin, Virgin, 1998

The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae (1998) - Colin Larkin

  1. The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae (1998) - Colin Larkin (Editor) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    This is a complete handbook of information and opinion about the history and development of reggae music. Based on the "Encyclopedia of Popular Music", the book contains over 1000 entries covering musicians, bands, songwriters, producers and record labels which have made a significant impact on the development of reggae music. It brings together people such as Prince Buster and Duke Reid, with performers who took reggae beyond Jamaica's shores such as Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley and the Wailers, and those who have been at the forefront in more recent years, such as UB40, Shabba Ranks and Red Rat. Each entry offers information such as dates, career facts, discography and album ratings. --from the publisher

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