Everybody knows dubstep. Most of you know what dubbing is. Someone knows dub-techno. But what is Dub? Let’s find out.
Dub music was born deep inside of Jamaican music studios in the late 60’s. Starting point a usually referred to 1967, when King Tubby achieved new sound while editing instrumental mix of a reggae track. Reggae is essential to Dub as to the whole Jamaican scene (as well as world scene). King Tubby started the cult of remixing, cutting and editing reggae songs and recording mixes on the B-sides of the singles. that’s how the Dub started.
Important: Dub is not a parasite genre. Most of the Dub songs used only a samples of original vocals, which were heavily redacted. Tubby added and created new music out of old reggae songs using deep bass and drums with echo effects. Early Dub tracks sounded out of this world and transcending.
Tubby’s experiments easily found followers, Jamaica always was a place of creators and sound producers. Prophet of Dub music, Tubby’s heir Lee “Scratch” Perry appeared on stage in 60’s and he is still there. He spreaded Dub around the world and keep going.
Perry was a real innovator and post-modernist of his time. He took spaghetti westerns, Superhero comics, TV Series, Action movies, Sci-Fi, roots reggae and combined it in his mad head. If Tubby’s Dub was music from the moon, Lee Perry’s music was from Alpha Centauri. And it was lovely.
He made his own band The Upsetters and worked with almost every famous Jamaican musician of his time, including ofc Bob Marley. And he popularized the Dub.
What is key features of Dub? It is made of roots reggae remixes. Vocals are not so necessary and almost missing. Rhythm section is in front, Effects, echo, reverb, slowdowns are welcome. Rhythm or the “Riddim” consists of stripped down drum-n-bass. That is a short and very rough receipt of Dub. Dub is very, very different.
After Lee Perry came Scientist and Prince Jammy, who brought new and fresh sound to Dub. Reggae artists started to create Dub albums. But in the 80’s Dub quickly lost it’s popularity in Jamaica, and moved further to the world. It came to Europe through the England with it’s huge Jamaican population. Heritage of Dub is really huge: you can find traces of Dub in ambient, hip-hop, techno and, surprise, dubstep.
King Tubby and boys created not just pleasingly and distantly sounding genre. They created new approach to the music. Mixing and remixing is key features of dozens of genres like Vaporwave, Witch House, Jazz Funk and so on. Although Lee Perry is still alive, King Tubby passed away in 1989. But his music remains with us, as well as his ideas.