There really aren't too many forms of music more arbitrarily defined than "dub music" -- particularly in recent years. Thanks to the advent of "dubstep," it's harder than ever to pinpoint exactly what it is and what it sounds like to fresh listeners.
Going through thousands of records, you see the word "dub" all too commonly used to describe everything from a simple remix to instrumentals. To the seasoned connoisseur however most understand it isn't the extra heavy techno music that's called "dub" on the b-sides of Madonna and Ke$ha 12-inches. Very simply, it's a form of music that came about out of essentially DJ's boredom and their innate creativity of hearing something their own way and trying to represent that concept and impression to the audience. Eventually "dub" would become it's own music form and just as powerful a force as the reggae music from which it evolved from. Thus we have Neil Joseph Stephen Fraser, a.k.a. the Mad Professor.[jump]
Born in Guyana and moving to London as a teenager, Fraser, like dub predecessor King Tubby, would take up tinkering around with electrical and studio equipment and would record bands through his own machines with these new soundboard setups, giving the music his trademark stamp.
Mad Professor A Dub Lesson 2008
Like a potter with a mound of clay, the DJ then gets to carve and mold the sound through their mixing devices to create something often totally different from the original source. As you can imagine, the producer or DJ in this case has a body of work that is essentially all in progress. In a live setting, whether they are mixing a live band or a pre-recorded tape, no two mixes ever come out the same. It makes a real DJ like the Mad Professor a rare treat to see live in the flesh.
While the most common trend of mashing up and mixing is more prevalent than ever in clubs and on the internet, it's always best to witness the real masters who have pioneered the profession from its humble and strange beginnings, ie: Lee Perry.
To get you psyched and to better illustrate the dub concept, I've put together a collection of some of Mad Professor's best-loved mixes, his own dance tracks, as well as some clips of the man live in action in the clubs and on radio appearances.
Monday nights are never amateur night and this one in the Entry is not to be missed. Mad Professor with Twilight Circus Dub and T.U.G.G. appear Monday, September 19 at Seventh Street Entry 18+ 8pm $12 in advance, $15 at the door
Mad Professor "Kunte Kinte Dub" 1991
Sade "Love is Stronger than Pride" 1992
Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor 1993
Lee Perry vs. Mad Professor "Messy Apartment" 1996
Mad Professor and Kyla "Do You Mind?" 2009
Mad Professor "Roboticks Dub Song" 2007
Mad Professor "King Pharoh" live at the Soundlab in Buffalo, New York 2008
Mad Professor remixes Massive Attack "Teardrop" live on KCRW 2009
Mad Professor dubs up Bob Marley "Lively Up Yourself" on 94/FM in San Diego 2009
Mad Professor remixes Marvin Gate "What's Going On?" on 94/FM in San Diego 2009