Music History: Dub


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One of my favorite things about music is the way that music evolves with time.  As time passes music genres influence each other, sometimes changing the genre into something completely different.  This is interesting to observe with dub music.

In order to understand dub history, we must understand some of socioeconomic aspects that impacted Jamaican society in the early 70s.  During this time period Jamaicans were not able to spend their money on records, they did not have the financial means to do so. Thus when record producers made records, they were taking their chances.  Thus they found a solution, play the records in dancehalls in order to observe the audience’s reception. This practice would open the doors for a new Jamaican genre, dub.

One of the dub pioneers was Rudolph Redwood. He would produce instrumental versions of tracks, and thus dancehall DJs would add their own singing or rhymes over the music.  This was given the name “toasting,” which would eventually give rise to dancehall music. Using these sorts of instrumental tracks in this manner was commonplace in the Jamaican music industry.  

The focus of dub were the instrumentals, not the singers.  Sound engineers would remove or rearrange instrumentals, they would never add.   These sound engineers are the ones who laid the groundwork so many genres that would follow.  If it were not for dub we would not have so many genres: jungle, house, garage, grime, and essentially any music driven by technology. Dub sound engineers were the first  to utilize sound boards as musical instruments.

This was just a brief synopsis of the history.  If you want to read more, be sure to check out the sources. Stay tuned for future posts about all different varieties of Jamaican music,  rocksteady, ska, and reggae and dub-a-dub.

This playlist will give you the dub essentials, from the master himself, King Tubby, to others like his apprentice, Scientist.  Sit back and relax and let this dub playlist lead you into summer.

Listen to the playlist here. 

  1. “Inna Mi Yard”- King Tubby
  2. “Root Man Party ” – Don Carlos
  3. “Your Teeth in My Neck” – Scientist
  4. “Overseas Posse” – Toya
  5. “Love and Unity” – Michael Prophet
  6. “Act of Affection” – Wailing Souls
  7. “A Who” – Michigan and Smiley
  8. “Seek King Ras Tafari” – Jah Melodie
  9. “Mount Zion Medley” – Morgan Heritage
  10. “Janet Sinclair”- Little John and Billy Boyo
  11. “Fattie Boom Boom” – Ranking Dread
  12. “Work On Mr. Farmer” – Edi Fitzroy


Bush , John. “THE DREAD LIBRARY.” Debate Central – Since 1994,

l, Pablo. “Reggae – Origins Of Dub.” UDiscoverMusic, 10 May 2018,