San Francisco, California, USA – The Rough Guide To Dub portrays the
original impetus of the form, as developed by the original dubmaster King Tubby
during the genre’s first Golden Age, and features essential mixes from his
contemporaries Errol ‘ET’ Thompson, Yabby You and Lee Perry. Compiled by Steve
Barrow – a leading authority on Jamaican music – The Rough Guide To Dub features classic recuts from electronics engineer King Tubby. Born out of Jamaican musical culture, and formed in the nexus between studio and
dancehall, dub has influenced modern dance music in all its forms. Dub
originated in the 1960s, when King Tubby began mixing dubs and adding delay and
reverb effects. This set in motion a formula that would last through the 1970s
By 1972, producers in Jamaica were taking their rhythms, recorded in Randy’s or
Dynamic Studios, to Osbourne Tubby’ Ruddock’s mixing studios. He began mixing
for every sound system and put in motion a formula that would last through the
1970s and, from 1975 onwards, be copied by other, newer studios like Channel One
-..id Joe Gibbs. Tubby was fond of integrating sound effects into some of his
earlier dub efforts and, on ‘Lightning & Thunder’, his thunderstorm effect is
seamlessly blended on the Morwell Unlimited recut of the old rock steady
classic, ‘Swing & Dine’. On ‘Dub Zone’ Tubby employs the sound of a jet plane
taking off and he would often hit the spring reverb for added effect, adding an
entirely apposite gunshot sound to his dubs (such as in ‘Shooter Dub’).
Vocalist and producer Glen Brown was a consistent patron of King Tubby’s, and
‘World Dub: Away With The Bad’ is a fearsome Tubby mix of Brown’s track by the
same name. Tubby’s superb work can also be heard on ‘Dub The Right Way’,
‘Repatriation Rock’ and ‘Behold A Dub’, a track that typifies the King’s mixing
style at his 1975 peak, throwing the voice into cavernous echo.
The late Errol ‘ET’ Thompson was born in 1952 in Kingston, Jamaica, and (along
with King Tubby) is regarded as a pioneer of dub techniques. ‘Ordinary Version
Chapter 3′ was recorded and mixed by the late ET at Studio 17, the legendary
room above Randy’s Record Shop on Kingston’s North Parade, where much of the
significant reggae from 1970 to 1975 was recorded. On this track, ET strips away
the vocals from Lloyd Parkes’ ‘Ordinary Man’, to reveal the structure of the
Also mixed by ET, ‘Wire Dub’ was a further cut of Carl Malcolm’s monster 1975
hit ‘Miss Wire Waist’ that had been produced by drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist
Lloyd Parkes. Producer and vocalist Vivian ‘Yabby You” Jackson practically
defined ‘deep’ roots music in the 1970s. A horn-dominated dub, the rhythm of
‘Conquering Dub’ – which in its vocal form carries the chorus of ‘Be you, yabby
yabby you’ – prompted King Tubby to give Jackson the name ‘Yabby You’, by which
he is still known worldwide. On ‘Zambia Dub’, Yabby You creates a stirring recut
of the ska chestnut ‘Shak Kai Shek’, over which you can hear DJ Jah Walton
toasting the virtues of King Tubby.
Also mixed at Tubby’s was the Keith Hudson track ‘Satia’. A version of an
Abyssinians’ roots anthem, this recut uses the Wailers rhythm section (the
Barrett brothers ‘Family Man’ and ‘Carly’) to play the bass and drums,
guaranteeing a dub classic.
The main engineer at King Tubby’s during 1976-7, Prince Jammy mixed ‘No
Problem’, the B-side to Horace Andy’s superb ‘Don’t Let Problems Get You Down’.
On ‘Chapter Of Money’, Prince Jammy dubs it up with notably controlled delay
effects and his ‘General Version’ is a blistering, stripped down mix of the late
Crown Prince Dennis Emmanuel Brown’s ‘Want To Be No General’.
Maximillian, the resident engineer at the Channel One studio, shows how well he
had mastered the Tubby style for the rival studio on ‘Down Rhodesia’.
Maximillian (or Crucial Bunny, his colleague at Channel One) probably mixed
‘Moses Dub’ and it employs the style developed by Tubby to great effect over the
Revolutionaries’ rhythm track to Lopez Walker’s ‘Send Another Moses’.
Rough Guide to Dub].
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.