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Originating Location: Jamaica

Originating Era: late 60s, early 70s

Key Artists[]

  • King Tubby
  • Lee "Scratch" Perry
  • Agustus Pablo
  • Bunny Lee

Key Albums[]

  • King Tubby - Dub from the Roots
  • Lee "Scratch" Perry - Super Ape
  • Agustus Pablo - East of the River Nile

Genre Description[]

Dub is one of the most unlikely genres of music to come into popularity. The style began almost as a novelty when reggae producers began the practice of dubbing instrumentals and stripped down versions of popular reggae songs, usually roots reggae, to put on the B-side of 45rpm singles. These dubs were used in at parties and in danchalls as backing music for the toasting DJs, which was the precursor of rap music. The man almost solely responsible for this was Osbourne Ruddock, much better known simply as King Tubby. He took this practice a step further, experimenting with the dubs and molding them using homemade mixers and effects into their own musical entities. The usual method for this was seperating each instrument on to its own track with its own fader, and simply bringing up the levels in a variety of combinations, mostly centered around the rhythm section, and adding special effects like echo and reverb. This seems overtly simple today, but when King Tubby did it, not only was groundbreaking because it was done for the first time, but also because he was the one creating these brand new mixers and effects using his background of electronics, specifically television repair. The early 70s saw King Tubby releasing full-length albums of solely dub, usually collaborating with producers Bunny Lee and Lee "Scratch" Perry and melodica player Agustus Pablo, which is why the melodica has become one of the most essential and recognized instruments of dub. By the late 70s, dub was almost as popular as reggae itself, spreading out of Jamaica to Britain and beyond. By the early 80s, the genre began to splinter thanks to experimental artists of the style including Tubby's protégé Scientist, Perry's protégé Mad Professor and drum & bass revolutionairies Sly & Robbie.

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