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An Attempt to Explain

Dub is a genre that grew from Reggae, kicking off in the late 1960s.

Dub is generally instrumental mixes of existing recordings, it's achieved by manipulating the recordings, initially by removing the vocals, and bringing to the forefront the drums and bass, possibly creating a music style that was a great grandparent to Drum n Bass, often noticeable echo and reverb effects would also be added, and "dubbing" the occasional snippet from the lyrics from the original version.


Generally It is widely accepted that the Jamaican artists Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock, and Lee "Scratch" Perry (also known for his work with the 80s dub pioneers On U Sound System) were the innovators of the style of Dub that grew out of the 1960s and early 1970s. Ruddock and Perry each made use of the mixing desk as an instrument, with the deejay or “selector” playing the role of the artist or performer. These early experiments in ‘dub’ can be be seen as a predecessor to many dance music genres. In later years, the word ‘dub’ became widely used in description of the re-formatting of music of various genres into typically instrumental, rhythm-centric adaptations, as well as a term that is used in description if Reggae inspired dance music, plus of course, the influence it's had over Dub Step

Originally,"Dub" was defined as a “version” or “double” of an existing song, usually instrumental (in the way described above), and would be common place on the B-sides of 12" singles,

A hallmark of the "Dub" sound, as the genre grew, would be the massive low-pitched and driving bass guitar, or synthesised bass.

Dub can also make use of sound effects, some sounds that can be heard in "Dub" include birds singing, thunder and lightning, water flowing, producers shouting instructions the musicians, or comments and advice about narcotics, live DJs "scratching", can also be made use of.

Early Days

In 1968, Kingston, Jamaica sound system operator Ruddy Redwood went to Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle studio to cut a one-off dub plate. Engineer Byron Smith left the vocal track out by accident, but Redwood kept the result and played it at his next dance with his deejay Wassy toasting over the rhythm. Errol Thompson engineered the first strictly instrumental Reggae album entitled The Undertaker by Derrick Harriott and the Crystalites released in 1970.

Undertaker Derrick Harriott and the Crystalites.jpg

This innovative album credits “Sound Effects” to Derrick Harriott.

The Sound

"Dub" is said to create soundscapes, or sound sculptures, playing on the depth of the space between sounds as well as just the sounds themselves. "Dub" creates a distinctive organic characteristic to its sound.

"Dub" often makes use of “toasters” rapping heavily-rhymed and alliterative lyrics, this is different to the Hip Hop terminology which would be; “MC”. (This is an abbreviation of “Master of Ceremonies”, “Microphone Commander” or “Mic Control”; the title will vary regionally and demographically)

Some Artists


10 Foot Ganja Plant


Adrian Sherwood

The Aggrovators

Alpha & Omega

Asian Dub Foundation

Augustus Pablo

Bill Laswell

Clive Chin


Dub Colossus

Dub Incorporation

Dub Syndicate

Errol Thompson


Fat Freddy's Drop

Jah Shaka

Jah Wobble

Jah Woosh

Joe Gibbs

King Tubby

Lee "Scratch" Perry

Mad Professor

Mikey Dread

On U Sound



The Skints

U Roy