Dub – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Musical Genres Glossary

What is Dub?

Dub is a genre of electronic music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. It is characterized by remixing and manipulating existing recordings to create new versions of songs. Dub music often features heavy use of reverb, delay, and other effects to create a psychedelic and atmospheric sound. Dub is closely related to reggae music, but it is distinct in its emphasis on the production and manipulation of sound rather than the vocal and instrumental performances.

Origins of Dub

Dub music emerged in Jamaica in the late 1960s as a subgenre of reggae. The term “dub” is believed to have originated from the practice of “dubbing” or remixing existing recordings to create new versions of songs. The pioneers of dub music were producers such as King Tubby, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Augustus Pablo, who experimented with studio techniques and effects to create innovative and groundbreaking music.

Characteristics of Dub Music

Dub music is characterized by its use of studio effects such as reverb, delay, echo, and phasing to create a unique and otherworldly sound. The bass and drums are often emphasized in dub music, with heavy use of basslines and drum patterns to create a deep and hypnotic groove. Dub music also features the manipulation of vocals and instruments, with producers using techniques such as tape loops, samples, and remixing to create new and inventive sounds.

Key Artists in Dub Music

Some of the key artists in dub music include King Tubby, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Augustus Pablo, Scientist, and Mad Professor. King Tubby is often credited as the inventor of dub music, as he was one of the first producers to experiment with studio effects and remixing techniques. Lee “Scratch” Perry is another influential figure in dub music, known for his innovative production style and eccentric personality. Augustus Pablo is a renowned dub musician and melodica player, whose atmospheric and meditative music has inspired generations of artists.

Influence of Dub on Other Genres

Dub music has had a significant influence on a wide range of other genres, including electronic music, hip-hop, and punk. The use of studio effects and remixing techniques in dub music laid the foundation for the development of electronic music genres such as techno, house, and drum and bass. Dub music also had a profound impact on hip-hop music, with producers such as DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash incorporating dub techniques into their production style. In addition, the raw and experimental sound of dub music influenced the punk and post-punk movements, with bands such as The Clash and Public Image Ltd. drawing inspiration from dub music.

Modern Trends in Dub Music

In recent years, dub music has experienced a resurgence in popularity, with a new generation of artists and producers incorporating dub techniques into their music. Modern dub music often combines traditional dub production techniques with contemporary electronic music styles, creating a fresh and innovative sound. Artists such as Dub FX, Mungo’s Hi Fi, and Alpha Steppa are pushing the boundaries of dub music, blending dub reggae with elements of dubstep, jungle, and bass music. The future of dub music looks bright, with artists continuing to explore new sounds and push the genre in exciting new directions.