What is Dub?
Born in the small recording studios in Kingston, Jamaica, Dub or version is the concept of a few electronic wizard reggae producers who had complete musical freedom. These producers took selected songs, stripped them back to the rhythm section, and then with a multichannel mixing desk dropped the vocals and accompanying instruments in and out of the mix. Echoes, reverbs, rebounds, swells and stretches were added to create playful, challenging and hypnotic music where the bassline is the focus of the song.
By pulling the instrumental and vocal tracks in and out, the producers form an exciting rhythmical tease, a sort of musical fan-dance where one piece of music is revealed, then covered to show off yet another element. From the moment this sound was unleashed in the dance halls, Dub fever raged thru Jamaica. DJs and MCs took the sound to the masses with Sound systems on the back of trucks - two turntables, a few huge speakers, and a bunch of outrageous characters - the dj's or toasters (early Rap).
The technology has changed from the early two-track recordings of the sixties to todays computer modifications and drum machines, but the rhythm remains the same. Hard yet leisurely, funky yet scary, avant-garde yet sexy as hell. Dub creativity goes on into the new century.
Dub comes in many forms. They are characterised by slow to mid tempos, heavy use of echo, and the various sound tricks of a Dub technician. Unlike DJs, Dub technicians work live with pre recorded tracks or live bands and a multichannel mixing desk. The point is to create a soundscape where the listener is totally immersed in hypnotic music.