Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae

Front Cover
Wesleyan University Press, Aug 15, 2013 - Music - 352 pages
Winner of the ARSC’s Award for Best Research (History) in Folk, Ethnic, or World Music (2008)

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.

Ebook Edition Note: Seven of the 25 illustrations have been redacted.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chriszodrow - LibraryThing

A great read if you are interested in the more technical side of Jamaican music- which is actually pretty low-tech. But that is it's magic. The producers made the most out of very little and in many ... Read full review

Dub: soundscapes and shattered songs in Jamaican reggae

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In early 1970s Jamaica, Osbourne "King Tubby" Ruddock, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and several other engineers took recordings of popular reggae songs or rhythm tracks and applied such studio tricks as echo ... Read full review


Dub in the Continuum of Jamaican Music
The Evolution of Dub Music in the 1970s
3 The Backbone of Studio One
4 Jus Like a Volcano in Yuh Head
5 Tracking the Living African Heartbeat
6 Java to Africa
The End of the Roots Era and the Significance of Dub to the Digital Era of Jamaican Music
The Acoustics of Diaspora and of the Postcolony
Electronica Remix Culture and Jamaica as a Source of Transformative Strategies in Global Popular Music
Recommended Listening
Index of Songs and Recordings
Index of General Subjects

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2013)

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).

Bibliographic information