Monday, October 22, 2007

transformation through reverb and equalization

The cultural and technological influences on dub music are centered in the Jamaican culture and political turmoil of the 70’s and 80’s. One use of technology that stands out is the use of reverb and the use of equalization and filtering devices. In King Tubby’s “Black Lash” The light and upbeat sounds of the horns playing drastically transform to a more desperate and even spooky feeling to the song as the use of reverb is applied to the horns. With the sound of the box reverb in the back transformed into a bubbling almost flapping sound I can feel the heat of the Jamaican sun. In contrast to the low tones of the horns Tubby uses equalization to bring out the higher and sharper tones of the symbols and guitar. “Equalization could also be used to help craft the ambient aspects of a performance. In particular, the interplay of echo and equalization enabled engineers to make simulated sound spaces sound as if they were continually morphing in dimension and texture. Lee “Scratch” Perry’s song “Upsetting Dub” is very similar in the way it uses reverb and equalization. The songs feels so heavy and drawn out. I can feel the tension and despair in the heat of the Jamaican ghetto.

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