The Roots of Dub Music: Reggae

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Roots of Dub Music: Reggae

Reggae’s African Roots

Reggae music has its roots in African music. African music is a very complex genre with a lot of different subgenres. Reggae is a subgenre of African music that developed in Jamaica in the 1960s. Reggae is a very popular genre of music that is played all over the world.

The sounds of Africa

The sounds of Africa are the roots of dub music. Reggae is a genre of music that developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. It is a mixture of African and Caribbean sounds, and is often considered the forerunner of hip hop and rap. Dub music is a form of reggae that emphasizes the bass line and drums, and is often instrumental. It is characterized by its heavy use of echo and reverb, and its slow, laid-back tempo.

The influence of slavery

The history of dub music is deeply intertwined with the history of slavery and the African diaspora. Dub is a genre of music that developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. It is a style of Jamaican reggae that emphasizes the “dub” sound, a sound that is created by echoing or “reverberating” the drum and bass tracks in the music.

Dub music was heavily influenced by the African musical traditions brought to Jamaica by slaves. These traditions included call and response singing, rhythms played on drums and other percussion instruments, and the use of repetitive chants. All of these elements can be heard in dub music.

Dub music also has its roots in the soundsystem culture that developed in Jamaica in the early 20th century. Soundsystems were large sound systems operated by DJs who would play music for dances and parties. They became extremely popular in Jamaica in the 1950s and 1960s. Soundsystems would often have their own exclusive dub plates, which are recordings that are cut directly from the master tapes of popular songs. These dub plates would be played on the sound system to give it a unique sound.

The first dub tracks were created by accident when DJ King Tubby was trying to fix a damaged reel-to-reel tape machine at his studio. He inadvertently created a “dub” sound when he accidentally played two tracks at the same time, creating an echoing effect. This accidental discovery led Tubby to start deliberately creating dub tracks by adding echo and reverb to his mixes. He also started experiment with other effects like delay and echo chamber reverberation.

Tubby’s experiments with Dub soon caught on with other Jamaican producers and engineers, who started creating their own versions of Dub tracks. This new style of Jamaican reggae quickly gained popularity both inside and outside of Jamaica. In 1973, British record producer Clive Chin released the first dub album, “Clive Chin’s Chosen Few OF Reggae In Dub.” The album was a collection of Chin’s favorite dub tracks that he had produced at his studio, Randy’s Studio 17. The album was an instant hit with reggae fans both in Jamaica and abroad, and it helped to cement Dub’s place as a legitimate genre of music

The Birth of Reggae

Reggae is a genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The word reggae comes from the word “ragged” which was used to describe the music at the time. Reggae is a slower style of music that has a lot of bass and drums. The lyrics are usually about social issues or love.

The Jamaican soundsystem

In the late 1940s, a new sound began to emerge from the streets of Kingston, Jamaica. This sound was created by a handful of pioneering DJs who used turntables and microphones to create “toasts”, or rhyming stories, over the instrumental tracks of popular songs.

Among these early toastmasters was Sir Coxsone Dodd, who established the first Jamaican soundsystem in the early 1950s. Dodd’s system, which he named “Downbeat”, quickly became immensely popular, playing a major role in the spread of Jamaican music throughout the island.

Dodd’s success spurred other promoters to set up their own soundsystems, and by the mid-1950s there were dozens of these operations in Kingston alone. These systems were more than just music playback devices; they were community gathering places where people could dance, socialize, and escape the harsh realities of life in the city.

The popularity of the soundsystem culture led to the development of a new kind of Jamaican music: dub. Dub is a type of remix where DJs would strip away the vocals and other instruments from existing tracks and focus exclusively on the drum and bassfoundation. This bass-heavy style of music would go on to have a profound impact on the development of electronic dance music genres like house and techno in Europe and America.

Ska, rocksteady, and reggae

The three main genres of Jamaican music are ska, rocksteady, and reggae. Ska is a fast, upbeat style that was popular in the 1960s. Rocksteady is a slower, more relaxing style that emerged in the late 1960s. Reggae is a slow, Jamaican style that became popular in the 1970s. Dub music is a subgenre of reggae that emphasizes the bass and percussion.

Reggae in the UK

Reggae has its roots in the music of the African diaspora, specifically in the Caribbean. The music originated in the 1940s in Jamaican ska and rocksteady. Reggae became popular in the UK in the 1970s with the rise of the skinhead and punk subcultures. The music has been a part of British youth culture ever since.

The British soundsystem

The British sound system is a key part of the country’s musical heritage. The first sound systems began appearing in the 1950s, and they quickly became a staple of the UK’s music scene. Sound systems are large audio setups that allow DJs to play music for large crowds of people.

Today, there are many different types of sound systems, but they all have one thing in common: they play reggae music. Reggae is a genre of music that originated in Jamaica in the 1960s. It is a mix of African and Caribbean influences, and it often has a slow, relaxed feel.

Reggae became popular in the UK in the 1970s, and it has continued to be popular ever since. There are now many British reggae artists who are making their mark on the genre. Reggae is a key part of British culture, and it shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon.

The roots of dub

Dub is a genre of music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s in Jamaica. It is a style of Reggae that features instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is characterized by a sparse, drum and bass-centered sound. The earliest examples of dub music can be found in the work of Jamaican producers such as King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Dub music grew out of the Jamaican sound system culture, which was dominated by DJ-led dance parties called “sound clashes.” In these clashes, each sound system would try to outdo the others by playing the latest and most popular Reggae tracks as loudly and powerfully as possible. As the rivalry between sound systems intensified, DJs began to create their own versions of popular songs, stripping away the vocals and emphasizing the drum and bass elements. These instrumental tracks, or “dubs,” became hugely popular with sound system patrons and helped to establish dub music as its own distinct genre.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, dub music experienced a resurgence in popularity thanks to the emergence of British reggae bands like The Clash and label imprints like Greensleeves Records. These groups and labels helped to introduce dub music to new audiences outside of Jamaica, cementing its status as one of the most influential genres in modern pop music.

The Legacy of Reggae

Reggae is a genre of music that began in Jamaica in the late 1960s. Reggae is based on the earlier genres of ska and rocksteady, and it is characterized by a distinctive rhythm and a limited melodic range. Reggae became popular in the 1970s, and it is still popular today. Reggae has had a significant impact on other genres of music, including hip hop, pop, and rock.

Reggae’s influence on other genres

Reggae has left its mark on many other genres of music, most notably in the development of dub music. Dub is a subgenre of reggae that was developed in the 1970s. It is characterized by a heavy focus on bass and drums, and often features extensive use of echo and delay effects. Many dub tracks also include snippets of dialogue or sound effects from movies and television shows, giving them a distinctive “cut-up” quality.

Dub music has been highly influential, helping to shape the sound of several other genres, including hip hop, techno, and grime. Some of the most well-known dub artists include Lee “Scratch” Perry, King Tubby, and Mad Professor.

The enduring popularity of reggae

Reggae music has continued to be popular since its inception in the 1960s, with artists such as Bob Marley & The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, and Toots & The Maytals becoming household names. The genre has also been influential in other areas of music, with acts like The Clash and The Police incorporating elements of reggae into their sound.

More recently, reggae has enjoyed something of a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to the work of artists like Matisyahu and Sean Paul. This new wave of reggae performers is keeping the legacy of the music alive and introducing it to a whole new generation of fans.

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