Jammin’ In Jamaica – The History Of Jamaican Dub Music

Around the explosive, political and musically capricious aeon of the backward ’60s, America, Jamaica and England were afflicted by a new assembly address that aboriginal reared its arch in Jamaican studios. Special furnishings units like delays, echoes, and reverbs had acquired acceptance through producers like Osbourne (King Tubby) Ruddock, who endemic a complete arrangement and cut acetates at Duke Reid’s Treasure Isle Studio. By accidentally abrogation out locations of the articulate mix to a song, Ruddock stumbled aloft a new blueprint that offered added options for assuming flat magic. He took this new mix with him to a dance, and played the apparent adaptation first. Again he played his ‘accident,’ and the dub mix was born. Not alone did he abstract the humans away that night; he ran aback into the flat to do it again.

In the 1970s if a individual was released, it was generally answered by addition almanac that gave the additional artists’ annotation on the aboriginal record. Sometimes, abounding aftereffect versions came out of this technique, accepted as toasting. This anatomy of rapping bent on afterwards in the United States via the accurate jungles of New York City. On abounding Rap mixtapes and CDs, artists would adapt toasting by ‘dissing’ anniversary added if they had beef a part of themselves. Though some of the artefact was harder to find, admirers ate up the resulting, often-exclusive releases anyway. Toasting activated catch-phrases that congenital the aciculate Jamaican dialect–it added a rhythmically expressive, abysmal adapted superior to Reggae music. If abounding of my adolescent Jamaicans speak, their accents generally accomplish them complete like the music: absolutely rhythmic, absolutely expressive, absolutely melodious, absolutely harmonic, and absolutely textural. Some accepted Jamaican phrases follow:

Babylon – harder living, agitation My yute – homeboy

Bwoyfren’ – admirer N’yam – eat food

Cool runnin’s – it’s all acceptable ‘Ole on a likkle – delay just a minute

Cho’ – never apperception Oonu – you all

Diy’yah – over actuality Pickney – children

Frock – a dress Redi dress – assuming out

Is fi’ mi – it’s abundance Roll course – accumulate it moving

Good acceptable – that’s accomplished Selectah – a DJ

Gweh – get out of my face S’mody – somebody

Gwine – traveling Soccamibassa – dressed poorly

Gyalfren’ – adherent Tegereg – troublesome; a P.I.T.A.

Leggo beas’ – wild, assertive Tump you – hit you

Maahgah – angular Whe’ mek? – why?

Dialects of Jamaican ‘patois’ can be announced fast, slow, or moderately. Some of the delivery is easier to accept than others because it may depend aloft which amphitheatre of Jamaica one is from. Some humans may accept affecting inflections in their accent patterns, while others may accept agreeable ones. One affair for abiding is that unless you can’t hear, you will absolutely apperceive it if a being from the islands is talking or singing…’yah, mon.’ But even afterwards vocals, this underground Dub music of Jamaica was still abstraction itself into a added authentic entity. By 1973, ‘King Tubby’ Ruddock was experimenting with active versions of songs by manipulating sounds on the tracks. His accessories independent a disc-cutter, bond console, band machines and furnishings units. He formed with the top producers on the island to compose and absolution the dub anthology “Blackboard Jungle.”

Instrumental versions of songs anon showed up on the B-sides of singles, alleged ‘dub mixes.’ Whether advance were abruptly punched-in with buttons or calmly faded-in with the sliding fader, they were still accustomed a abundant dosage of complete effects. In some cases, absorbing furnishings were created by active a angled band over the active of a band machine. To facilitate this method, a area of the band was articular for ‘surgery’ or ‘splicing.’ Splicing occurs by putting the area of band on a ‘chopping block’ with vertical and askew grooves categorical into it. The grooves guided a razor brand as it torn the band at the alpha and end of the area to be cut. The two ends of the abandoned band were again taped calm and run through the band rollers, which anesthetized the band over the three active (erase, almanac and playback) in a repeated, angled manner.

The playback arch best up the arresting and played it till the ‘stop’ button was depressed. If the braid wasn’t precise, this activity could become annoying and time-consuming. This adjustment may not accept bent on in the fast-paced apple of ‘put it calm quick’ Rap music, but sampling abiding did. Electronically-made sounds and sampling went on to become common phenomena. Like band looping, Jamaicans acclimated sampling to actualize new music such as Dancehall Reggae. You’ll wish to see the affiliate “What Makes Music” in the accessible “Musicology 102″ for added on sampling. If the advice in that affiliate tweaks your interest, we’ll be accoutrement added flat techniques that you may acquisition absorbing in the aftereffect to that book, “Musicology 103.”

Dub remixes were appear as a accepted agreement by the mid ’70s, and DJ’s consistently played them in the clubs. The accessible accord amid the United States and Jamaica accustomed new styles and trends to alluvion amid the two cultures. By the end of the decade, Rap music fabricated its addition by creatively looping boom and bass curve with a adroit (non-melodic) articulate clue and new sounds. Rap brought showmanship to a new akin by application the techniques of Jamaican Dancehalls and complete systems, address of avant-garde DJs like Kool Herc. In case you may accept forgotten, we opened up the book affiliate by talking about the DJ who brought barrage to the clubs. ‘Big ups’ to these unsung heroes–they afflicted the era’s agreeable agreement by breaking down music and remixing it. In America, R&B, Funk, Jazz and Ball music were aswell torn down and rebuilt; abacus anticipation, activity and exhilaration to concrete activity (dancing) and added types of reside performances.

Dub music was generally alloyed calm in a reside ambience (people are around), with the bond lath confined as the activity centerpiece, as if it were a agreeable instrument. In the easily of an experienced, partially or absolutely batty complete architect or producer, this meant hit records. Besides tweaking the complete processing accessories to get a adapted or abrupt effect, added flat tricks were aswell employed. Some techniques cover the use of gunshots, screams, sirens, whistles, analysis tones, automated sounds; even physically arresting a reverb assemblage to get a new sound. Therein lays the acknowledgment to the exclusivity factor, which was taken actual actively in Jamaican music. Since no one away had the sounds, no one away could play them. To adduce beat rapper Rakim (of Eric B & Rakim), “I said it before.”

By the backward ’70s, the Imprint label, headed up by top Dub architect Lloyd James (also accepted as ‘Prince Jammy’), stepped into the accent to become one of the arch armament in this new beachcomber of music advancing from Jamaica. In the meantime, concerts by Jamaican artists were accurate by a amount accumulation of Blacks and Whites in England and in the United States. The abutment of British and American recording artists encouraged a analytical fan abject to accept afterpiece to Reggae. Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton and The Police fabricated hits that hinted at Reggae, while Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder gave their own acceptable perspectives. Just yield a acceptable accept to groups like The Eagles (“Hotel California”) and Steely Dan (“Hey Nineteen”) as you dig through hordes of abundant music advance to analyze what they and so abounding others accept created during their aces careers. Added appropriate abutment was on the way if the new Dancehall brand came out of Jamaica. During the backward ’80s to aboriginal ’90s, it filtered into the Rap/Hip-Hop culture, by way of crude Jamaicans and burghal Big Apple adolescence who were already cerebration “outside the box.”

The accident of Jamaica’s agreeable astrologer Bob Marley in 1981 befuddled the shores of Jamaica and chain-reacted to a common level. Afore things improved, things got worse and Jamaica’s economics took a nosedive. Political agitation ran aggressive amid the Jamaican Labor Party (JLP), and the People’s National Party (PNP). Jamaican posses became berserk airy at home as able-bodied as in the States and in the U.K. Acclaimed activists (including musicians and others) were accepting atrociously gunned down, larboard and right. The per-capita statistics were astounding. Something had to give; there was too abundant agitation bustling off on this about 150 mile-long island craving for advancing attention, out in the average of the Caribbean Sea. Through assorted Prime Minister hand-offs over the years, the authority of Jamaica (liberated in a year that holds able acceptation to me), has anesthetized a part of seven pairs of hands:

1962 – 1967 Alexander Bustamante (JLP)

1967 Donald Sangster (JLP)

1967 – 1972 Hugh Shearer (JLP)

1972 – 1980 Michael Manley (PNP)

1980 – 1989 Edward Seaga (JLP)

1989 – 1992 Michael Manley (PNP)

1992 – 2006 P.J. Patterson (PNP)

2006 – Present P.S.-Miller (PNP)

Notice annihilation interesting? It’s been said that there’s no connected like change: for the aboriginal time in history, Jamaica handed off its male-dominated political reigns to addition original–the aboriginal changeable Jamaican Prime Minister, in March of 2006. The PNP’s own Portia Simpson-Miller succeeded addition PNP member, Prime Minister Percival James Patterson.

Over in England, Reggae and Dub artists fabricated accustomed entrances into the music industry’s action amphitheatre by slicing and dicing the flat mix alone for the club. By the 90s, the eminent sub-division of Dub music emerged not alone from Jamaica, but aswell the U.K. and U.S. with styles like ‘Drum & Bass,’ ‘Jungle,’ ‘Trip-Hop’ and ‘Techno.’ All-embracing groups from added genres like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Garbage, Active Colour, Nine Inch Nails, and dozens of rappers, producers and DJs activated Dub in their tracks. Dub influences are generally heard in recordings with cyberbanking drums, bass, keyboards, strings, and horns in Reggae styles like Dancehall. A accepted complete was begin in an aboriginal anatomy of Reggaeton alleged Dancehall Reggaespanol, or Spanish Dancehall. This appearance of music appealed added to humans of the Hispanic/Latino societies in Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and abroad. Spanish Reggae featured Reggae music with Spanish lyrics and addictive horn arrangements. Traditional Latin music may generally affection the guitar in songs.

Many humans may not apprehend it, but the Panama Canal was congenital not alone by bounded Panamanians, but aswell Jamaicans and added immigrants from about the apple in seek of bread-and-butter relief. It didn’t yield continued for the music industry to apprehension there were abounding Black Latinos in places like those listed above, and in South America. By 1991, Columbia Annal accustomed Dancehall Reggaespanol, as it appealed to a large, multi-cultural fan base. Some acts:


Cocoa Tea

Cutty Ranks

El General

Fab 5

Killer Ranks

La Diva

Lisa M.

Little Lenny


Nando Boom

Nardo Ranks


Sugar Minott


Rude Girl

(La Atrevida)


o Featured artisan Lisa M is from Puerto Rico; not alone is she authoritative songs like ones on this CD, but she aswell creates music in added styles such as Merengue. Merengue is accepted throughout the Caribbean islands, and in South America. While we’re pointing out acclaimed Merengue hot spots, let’s not overlook the website of the famous, all-embracing canal–Central America’s Panama, home of red gold. Lisa M and the actual “Dancehall Reggaespanol” casting were on the beginning of something that wouldn’t acme until afterwards the new millennium arrived.

o Now traveling by the name of Reggaeton music, Latin Dancehall music incorporates Spanish lyrics as the active force; affective advanced in its popularity, a accomplished new bearing of music appreciators will be abundantly afraid to apprehend this agitative music form: some of them, for the aboriginal time. Godspeed, children.

o You may accept noticed the name “Ranks” absorbed to Cutty, Killer, and Nardo. Trust me – these guys are not brothers by blood. In fact, abounding Dancehall artists acclimated “Ranks” in their date names. One of the better was “Shabba.” He got active to Epic Annal about the time Columbia Annal active addition hot Jamaican artisan accepted as Supercat. Since I formed for Sony Music (the benefactor of Epic), I marketed and answer Shabba Ranks’ Epic releases.

o Supercat (also accepted as Don Dada), was already accomplishing his affair on a ‘super’ akin if he got active to a Columbia Annal arrangement during the backward ’80s. He was aswell one of the first-round abstract picks if the characterization began their Dancehall/Reggae signing spree. In befitting advanced of the violins, let me point out that he was addition act I marketed at Sony Music, forth with Columbia’s “Dancehall Reggaespanol” accumulation CD. Considered a ‘West Indian Godfather’ in ‘the biz,’ Supercat is accustomed adulation in Damian Marley’s song with the somewhat abominable Bobby Brown, alleged “Beautiful.” That’s addition hit song on Marley’s “Welcome To Jamrock” CD. Trust that! Supercat still has his mojo too, with his name mentioned alert anniversary time it comes up throughout the song. “Check it!”