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    King Tubby

    King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown( 1977 ) more best albums...
    Keep On Dubbing / Stop Them Jah / Young Generation Dub / Each One Dub / 555 Dub Street / Brace's Tower Dub / Brace's Tower Dub 2 / King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown / Corner Crew Dub / Skanking Dub / Frozen Dub / Satta Dub

    The finest dub reggae combines two of my favourite things in music. Deep melodic bass lines and a creative producer/engineer. A good engineer makes a huge difference to a record. I should point out that this album was released not by King Tubby, but by Augustus Pablo, initially on his own label. I'm placing it on my King Tubby page due to the fact of collaboration that took place. Once a record got the King Tubby treatment, it became a King Tubby record. His touch was distinctive on the sound of any record he ever worked upon, especially during the seventies. He pioneered dub music. Initially, simply by removing the vocals from popular Jamaican reggae tracks of the day. Soon getting more adventurous, he added a whole gamut of studio effects utilizing his own EQ's, etc. King Tubby's own studio was much in demand. He got to the point where he could delve under the recording console in the studio and physically change or customize the components or the filters or wiring and knew exactly how it would change the sound. Dub music influenced punk and new wave music, one listen to mid-period Clash, or such acts as Public Image Limited, reveals that. Intially dub specials were custom made for sound system use, spaces left in the mix for DJs to perform over. This was back in the early seventies! American Rap music owes an awful lot to the pioneering work of King Tubby. Many dance mix DJs owe an awful lot to the pioneering work of King Tubby. February 1989, King Tubby was shot dead outside his home.

    Augustus Pablo was a premier jamaican musician and producer. His melodica playing is very renowned, he popularized the instrument. For 'King Tubbys Meet Rockers Uptown', Augustus assembled a stellar cast of Jamacian musicians, including the Sly And Robbie rhythm section and then took the tapes to King Tubby for mixing. Dropping vocals in and out, placing the bass high in the mix, weaving in and out the playing of the various musicians. Dub often drops out everything bar the bass, then the other instruments are brought back in. A King Tubby dub mix became an artform in itself, the dub mix and dub album started to become popular, and 'King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown' is a masterpiece, perhaps the masterpiece, of this style. The title song is perfect, absolutely delicious. I hear echoes of then future dance acts such as The Orb here. Not surprising, The Orb took heavily from this track for one of their own pieces in the early nineties. What's surprising, or more accurately perhaps, just astonishing - is how modern these cuts still sound. Dub is generally associated with the seventies of course, yet the dubs here still sound fresh, they sound timeless. There is constant invention, the bass lines are diamond and gold and the entire album is simply very special. 'Stop Them Jah' sounds like a dream that I could dream all day. Everyone who cares about music should hear this album.

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    this page last updated 13/01/07


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