As part of the BTEC National Award in Music Technology I’m doing at college, this week I’ve been looking at dub music (leaving the rest of the class to finish off the coursework they should have done ages ago).
If you’re not too sure what dub music is, this is what Wikipedia says:
Dub is a genre of music which grew out of reggae music in the 1960’s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. Music in this genre consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, emphasizing the drum and bass parts (this stripped down track is sometimes referred to as a ‘riddim’). Other techniques include dynamically adding extensive echo, reverb, panoramic delay, and occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works. Dub also sometimes features electronically generated sound effects, or the use of distinctive instruments such as the melodica.
Its a little bit like sampling, except its done live. In today’s lesson I was experimenting a bit with plugging the computer into the mixing desk and then using the desk as the instrument, to put on various effects.
After doing all of that, I had a look at this video, called Adrian Sherwood Studio Session, on the Red Bull Music Academy website:
Born in London in 1958, Adrian Sherwood is one of the most prominent figures of the reggae scene. As the founder of the ground-breaking On-U Sound label in 1980 and the reggae reissue specialist Pressure Sounds, he gained a worldwide reputation as Europe’s number one in the reggae business. In addition he has also worked as a producer, studio technician and remixer. Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Yazz and Living Colour are only few of the many artists he has blessed with his mixes and has collaborated with legendary reggae singers and producers including Prince Far I, Bim Sherman and the infamous Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.