Wookin' pa Dub
January 30, 2008 9:00 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to get a little more into dub and acquire some albums. I like what I understand to be the more typical kind of tracks: long, rumbly instrumentals and would prefer to largely avoid anything with predominant vocals. Does anyone have any particular albums or artists to recommend? Compilations are a-okay.

Bonus points if suggested albums are available on eMusic.
posted by picea to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
This is the best dub album of all time: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown by Augustus Pablo.

It is the Illmatic, the Loveless, the 9th symphony of dub.

You may not be aware, but there is also a big "dubstep" movement going on right now. It's basically electronic music with a heavy dub influence. Names to check out are Burial, Skream and Distance. Those are the best in my opinion. Some is a little more introspective (burial and distance) and some is a little more party-focused (skream). Skream had a great essential mix a while back. You can find it searching google and megaupload. It's really good.
posted by milarepa at 9:10 AM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

On eMusic:I have all of these and while vocals may emerge on occasion, it's mostly what you're looking for. The digital experiments on Mad Professor's Black Liberation Dub series (also on eMusic) are more interesting than good, but you may want to check out one of those.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:17 AM on January 30, 2008

Yup, King Tubby.
posted by asuprenant at 9:19 AM on January 30, 2008

Here are my recos:

* Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires - all of scientist's old stuff is good, but run the fuck away from Dub 911. It is terrible.
* King Tubby Meets the African Brothers In Dub
* Rhythm and Sound - the versions
* Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor - No Protection

Dubstep sounds almost nothing like what you are looking for. Neither does dub techno. If you want to investigate thee anyway, try the following:
- Scion - Arrange and Process
- Basic Channel - Metalbox
- Gys - Art D'Echo
posted by mkb at 9:22 AM on January 30, 2008

Dub Chill Out, a good introductory compilation featuring King Tubby, Lee Perry, Sly & Robbie, etc.
posted by Dean King at 9:32 AM on January 30, 2008

I would recommend Dub Gone Crazy Vol.2: Dub Gone 2 Crazy by King Tubby (my all time favorite dub compliation, which I think slightly shades volume 1 above).

I'd say Arkology by Lee Perry was also pretty much unmissable.

What I would really recommend is not buying any Trojan boxsets, which have a poor wheat / chaff ratio.
posted by jimbaud at 9:33 AM on January 30, 2008

I have to recommend De Facto - Omar, Cedric, Ikey and Jeremy Ward, between ATDI and Mars Volta. They put out three albums of, IMHO, sublime dub in '01.
posted by opsin at 9:59 AM on January 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The recently-released Ape-ology set contains Lee Perry's two Super Ape albums, plus Roast Fish, Collie Weed and Corn Bread. All of these albums are very highly-regarded (many folks think the first two are Perry's best work), and, as with a lot of Jamaican music, all of them tend to go in and out of print. Pick 'em up while you have the chance.
posted by box at 10:04 AM on January 30, 2008

Some more:

Niney the Observer - Sledgehammer Dub in the Streets of Jamaica
Keith Hudson - Pick a Dub
Dub Specialist (bka Coxsone Dodd) - 17 Dub Shots From Studio One
Ossie Hibbert and the Revolutionaries - Earthquake Dub
Scientist - ... Vampires, ... Pac-Man, ... Space Invaders and ... World Cup are all very good.
Burning Spear - Garvey's Ghost
Bill Laswell - Dub Chamber 3 and 4 are both very good.
Twilight Circus Dub Sound System - Volcanic Dub
posted by box at 10:18 AM on January 30, 2008

nthing scientist, niney the observer and lee perry. cant go wrong with any of them.
posted by zennoshinjou at 11:09 AM on January 30, 2008

Everyone's suggestions here are wonderful! I had no idea so many dub heads frequented metafilter.

Some great, somewhat obscure dub records not mentioned yet:
Ras Michael and the Sons Of Negus - Rastafari Dub
Black Uhuru- The Dub Factor
Sly and Robbie -A Dub Experience Reggae Greats
The Techniques- Techniques in Dub
Prince Far I and the Arabs- Dub to Africa
Dub Syndicate- The Pounding System (Ambience In Dub)

Some well known dub records I suggest:

Augustus Pablo- El Rockers
Impact Allstars- Forward The Bass
The Trojan Dub Box Set- Vol 1 and Vol 2
It is a good overview of dub in the 70's early 80's

Also Madlib's -Blunted in The Bomb Shelter on Trojan is also quite good.

Horace Andy- In The Light / In The Light Dub
Massive Attack- No Protection (Mad Professor)

The Greensleeves catalog can be found on Emusic. People like Scientist and Yellowman were on Greensleeves back in the 70's and 80's. There are some interesting stories about Scientist's relationship to Greensleeves that i won't mention here.

I could really go on and on suggesting dub records and recordings of music influenced by dub.

As for "dubstep", a genre that I dj (under the name selector dub u)- the more dubby end of the spectrum can be found on compilations put out by Soul Jazz records -like the Little Box of Dub. which can be found on Emusic.
Also RSD (Rob Smith of Smith and Mighty) has put out some really nice dub influenced stuff.
Also Kode 9, Random Trio, Digital Mystikz etc..

(Sorry self promotion Below)
I have a monthly radios show in which I mix all types of dub and music influenced by dub with other types of music once a month- every third sunday on subfm
Archives of Dub U on subfm
posted by yertledaturtle at 11:20 AM on January 30, 2008

If you like Massive Attack, their Singles 90/98 Box Set has a dub version of nearly all of their singles. Highly recommended.
posted by dantodd at 11:52 AM on January 30, 2008

What I would choose to take on a desert island:

Lee "Scratch" Perry - Arkology (no discussion, essential)
King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown by Augustus Pablo (still have this on vinyl)
Rhythm & Sound - See Mi Yah or The Versions (I can't choose (do I have to?))

Also check out On U, an acquired taste but can go really really far "out there."
posted by DelusionsofGrandeur at 12:12 PM on January 30, 2008

Personally I always found King Tubby pretty dull. IMO Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires is the best dub album of all time (also, the most sampled album of all time in any genre), but it might have a few too many vocals for you. Must Scientist stuff is just dubbed up Roots Radics tracks, but all pretty exceptional. i recommend you try it to see if you like it, if nothing else.

I'm kind of fond of Mad Professor - Psychedelic Dub Dub, Escape to the Asylum of Dum and Caribbean Taste of Technology are personal faves. Counter to the recommendation above, I foung the Mad Professor / Massive Attack collaboration a yawn from start to finish.

I also quite like On U Sound stuff, but some find it a bit crusty. I suggest listening before buying if you try it out, although Fear of a Green Planet and Stoned Immaculate by Dub Syndicate are both awesome (Roots Radics connection again...)

Really though, dub is an interesting genre to just explore for yourself. You can't go too far wrong with the Trojan Dub CD box sets, of which there are many, and which are stupidly cheap to buy. You can usually find something to like about any of the what-seems-like-millions of Jah Shaka pressings (avoid other acts on his label though).

Personal reminiscence - there used to be an awesome record shop on Berwick Street in Soho called Daddy Cool, which seemed to sell nothing but slightly water-damaged obscure dub records out of orange crates, in a completely bare shop front - bass pounding out into the street outside. It's been gone for a few years though - I miss that place. :(
posted by bifter at 2:58 AM on January 31, 2008

Oh, also forgot to mention Yabby You - Jesus Dread is pretty sweet. Blood and Fire is a good (modern) label to watch for quality dub reissues too, although try not to be put off by the Mick Hucknall connection.
posted by bifter at 3:01 AM on January 31, 2008

Here are my favorites - (lots of repeats from above...)

The Upsetters - Blackboard Jungle Dub (one of the first dub full albums - maybe my favorite)

Mikey Dread - African Anthem & At the Control
(maybe too many chat intros and crazy sound effects for you, but very great albums)

Impact All Stars - Forward the Bass (n'thing from above)

Harry Mudie Meets King Tubby's - In Dub Conference Vol. 1 (moody and surprisingly contemporary sounding. There are strings here, but they work great!)

Wackie's Rhythm Force - African Roots, Vol. 1

Yabby You - Jesus Dread (has both vocals and dubs - all excellent)

Glen Brown and King Tubby - Termination Dub

Keith Hudson - Playing It Cool

Scientist - (all mentioned above)

Rhythm and Sound
(as mentioned above)
posted by alb at 5:40 AM on January 31, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, all! Seems like a solid chunk of recommendations here, with enough dittos to help narrow down to some starting places to look. This is very helpful indeed.
posted by picea at 7:05 AM on January 31, 2008

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