Friday, February 6, 2009

King Tubby - Fittest of the Fittest Dub

“In fact, although dub is certainly a genre of Jamaican music, it might be most accurate to think of it as such a process: a process of a song remixing or, more accurately, song re-composition. The fact that the dub mix is a version of a preexisting song that allows fragments of its prior incarnations to remain audible as an obvious part of the final product, makes it conducive to such conceptualizing; it can be linked with similar technology—based processes in other artistic media such as the serial reuse of images, collage manipulations of texture, and compositional procedures based on chance. An excerpt from Michael Veal’s book Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae.  When listening to King Tubby’s track Fittest of the Fittest Dub, you can really hear the process of dub. For instance the underlying bass takes you through this track, then hits the ears with vocals and keyboards that have reverberation attached to them, which first draws you in. Following is some lighter beats that take you in and out of a mixture of horns, vocals and the overlapping beat, and then right back into it again. This track reiterates the aspect of dub being a process of dissecting a variety of material and generating a completely different sound. Another track that has similar qualities to King Tubby’s and gives a good example for dub being a process is Marcus Garvey’s track Marcus Garvey.  Both tracks open with a heavy beat however with Marcus Garvey the opening beat is much heavier as well as vocals do not have a reverb connected to it. In continuing to compare the two tracks Marcus Garvey has a constant flow of vocals overlapping the beat a bit more than Tubby’s, but both do show how dub is a process of taking different fragments and creating a new collage.   

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