Middletown (Connecticut), USA – Wesleyan Press has published Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae by Michael Veal. This is the first book-length study of Jamaican dub, a studio-based genre that represented the sonic vanguard of Jamaican reggae music in the 1970s. Studio engineers like Osbourne "King Tubby" Ruddock, Errol Thompson, and Lee "Scratch" Perry-who are all featured in the book-essentially invented the art of the remix by using technology to deconstruct popular songs into reverberating soundscapes, and thus, dub was born.
While the world is familiar with the spiritual and political themes of roots reggae singers such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, the sound experimentation of dub music is not as well known. Dub music shares much of the spiritual and political themes of roots reggae, proving to be a provocative cultural variant on the concept of "electronic music," and a unique embodiment of post-colonial Jamaican culture.
In Dub, author and ethnomusicologist Michael Veal demonstrates that the production style of Jamaican dub music has helped transform the sound and structure of world popular music, much in the same way that Bob Marleys’ themes of exile and spiritual conviction have inspired audiences around the world.
Dub is an important contribution to music history, bringing a little-studied music genre to the forefront for the first time with sound scholarship and clear writing. The book includes first-hand interviews with many of the genre’s foremost innovators, extensive discussions of influential recordings, and a suggested listening list.
Michael Veal is an associate professor of ethnomusicology at Yale University, where he specializes in the music of Africa and the African diaspora. He is the author of Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon and also a musician and composer.