Dubness/

5 Dec

The idea of a colorful truck or car advertising the newest fashionable sound of the streets seems awkward to many. A concept known to the Jamaican people as the so called “Sound Systems”. As diverse as these mediums may be in their appearance, they all serve one purpose – Publicize Sound! Blasting from what seem to be speakers made from scratch and amplified to suppress the rattling of the motors the sound reaches out to the people.

Sound systems were and still are quite often uniquely crafted by their owners in order for the listeners to easily be able to distinguish who is delivering the sound of the moment. Some well known system owners would supply the poorer regions and ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica with the newest sound, right from their speakers, right on the street. This innovation of marketing lead to the concept of mobile record shacks. Often the Sound Systems would be able to provide the people with the actual fresh vinyl as well.

Much of the Jamaican music genres are strongly influence by the concept of Sound System.

One of these genres that evolved from this modernization of “Roots and Culture” Reggae,Ska and Rocksteady is Dub formerly also known as Versions. The name derives from the mixing process in which the vocals are “dubbed out”. This leaves the listener with an intense sound. Dub is considered one of the more esoteric and fundamental genres Jamaica has to offer in that it makes use various effects and samples in order to create a surreal sound collage. Prevailing sounds are the echoing vocals, quivering guitar, distant brass and a heavy,soaking bass line. Leading Names of this genre are King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry for example.

The more modern versions of this can be heard in many diverse forms. From today’s more traditional Mad Professor to the completely new form of Digital Mystikz’ Dubstep all have carried on the Dub tradition. Many traditional samples have been used over and over again but have been re-mixed into more sophisticated Versions in which the artist have given them a sense of immortality.

A new and widely renowned talent of the Dub scene is a French Dj appearing as Kanka. I would consider his style strongly influence by the traditional Dub Tracks although he does make use of modern effects, samples and synthesizing methods which give his sound the unique touch. Sadly the Sound Systems are not there to promote this sound anymore which is why I strongly encourage people to listen to this…LOUD!

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