Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae by Michael E. Veal

Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae

This is the book that Dub deserves. It’s an academic approach to looking at the development of Dub music within the reggae genre and is a must have on any reggae fans bookshelf.

“Veal deftly outlines the sociopolitical context in which dub arose, and explains how the cut-corner, make-do economics of the Jamaican record business led to a maximization of materials: song begat deejay version(s) beget dub(s) – at least three products for little more than the price of one… Where Veal’s book steals a march on the competition is in his technical analysis of how Tubby, Perry, Thompson, Sylvan Morris, and other mixing engineers adapted (and creatively abused) the equipment in studios… He also analyzes a number of tracks by each of the principal dub engineers under discussion…to show the transformation of song to version and dub, all of which is illuminating…he provides valuable information as to where these tracks may be found… This is an extremely bold and interesting book.”–The Wire

Book Description
When Jamaican recording engineers Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock, Errol Thompson, and Lee “Scratch” Perry began crafting “dub” music in the early 1970s, they were initiating a musical revolution that continues to have worldwide influence. Dub is a sub-genre of Jamaican reggae that flourished during reggae’s “golden age” of the late 1960s through the early 1980s. Dub involves remixing existing recordings – electronically improvising sound effects and altering vocal tracks – to create its unique sound. Just as hip-hop turned phonograph turntables into musical instruments, dub turned the mixing and sound processing technologies of the recording studio into instruments of composition and real-time improvisation. In addition to chronicling dub’s development and offering the first thorough analysis of the music itself, author Michael Veal examines dub’s social significance in Jamaican culture. He further explores the “dub revolution” that has crossed musical and cultural boundaries for over thirty years, influencing a wide variety of musical genres around the globe.

About the Author
Michael Veal is associate professor of ethnomusicology at Yale University, where he specializes in ethnomusicology and African-American music. He is the author of Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon (2000).

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