Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page, Quotes

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Contents

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p. vii

List of Illustrations

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p. viii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

My first thanks to the two friends who made me aware of dub music back in 1983, Tony Sims and Willy D. Wallace. I also acknowledge everyone who was interviewed for this book (their names are listed in the bibliography) with particular mention of Michael “Mikey Dread” Campbell, Clive Chin, Dave Hendley, Edward “Bunny” Lee, Desmond Shakespeare, and Bobby Vicious for their assistance...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-25

With Time magazine voting Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Exodus as the “album of the 20th century” and with veteran producer Lee “Scratch” Perry receiving a Grammy award in 2003, Jamaica is beginning to be recognized for its influence on world popular music.3 Like Cuba, Jamaica is a small island culture of the Greater Antilles that has exerted a tremendous influence on the development...

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1. Electronic Music in Jamaica: Dub in the Continuum of Jamaican Music

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pp. 26-44

However unique it may be in the soundscape of black popular music, dub—like most popular music of the Caribbean—arose as a product of the historical continuum encompassing European conquest, slavery, colonization, industrialization, urbanization, and globalization in the so-called New World. As such, it can be clearly fit into a historical continuum of Jamaican music traceable centuries into the past. Given that the history of Jamaican music is covered in...

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2. “Every Spoil Is a Style”: The Evolution of Dub Music in the 1970s

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pp. 45-94

The history of sonic innovation in popular music is, to a large degree, a history of artists driven by necessity or accident, to push their equipment to perform unintended tasks. It might be Bo Diddley scraping his pick against the strings of his guitar or Little Walter overblowing his amplified harmonica to simulate a reed section in Chicago during the 1950s. It might be Jimi Hendrix transforming amplifier feedback into musical melody or George Martin and the Beatles...

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3. The “Backbone” of Studio One

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pp. 95-107

Sylvan Morris’s most immediate significance in the history of Jamaican studio craft is based on his role in refining the recorded sound of ska, rock steady, and reggae as chief engineer at Coxsone Dodd’s Studio One, and he remains the engineer most closely associated with the studio. Given that Studio One has never been a center for dub music, however, Morris’s seminal contributions have typically been overlooked in historical accounts of dub music. Among...

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4. “Jus’ Like a Volcano in Yuh Head!”

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pp. 108-139

If any single figure can be considered central to the rise of dub as an influential genre, that figure would certainly be Osbourne Ruddock, professionally known as “King Tubby.”2 King Tubby, who described dub music as “jus’ like a volcano in yuh head!”3 had a long and varied career in the Jamaican music industry: cutting dub plates for sound systems and producers, building and repairing...

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5. Tracking the “Living African Heartbeat”

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pp. 140-162

Although his most influential work was created inside of Jamaica, Lee Perry must be considered one of the most creative popular music producer/ engineers of his generation, worldwide. Perry’s innovations were rooted in the creative currents brewing in Kingston studios during the 1960s. His career differs somewhat from that of other innovators of dub music such as King Tubby and Errol Thompson in the sense that the former two, both being...

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6. “Java” to “Africa”

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pp. 163-184

Even had he never mixed a single dub version, Errol Thompson (1948– 2004) would hold a secure place in reggae history. As chief engineer at two of the most important recording studios of the roots reggae era—Randy’s and Joe Gibbs—he was responsible for committing much of the era’s most significant music to tape. Thompson, who was praised by Bunny Lee as “one of the best engineers...

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7. “City Too Hot:” The End of the Roots Era and the Significance of Dub to the Digital Era of Jamaican Music

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pp. 185-195

Bob Marley died in May 1981, having lived his final years in intermittent exile following an attempt on his life in 1976. With Marley’s passing, reggae lost its most powerful global spokesman. Foreign recording companies gradually abandoned their support for other Jamaican artists who had ridden to international recognition on the path opened...

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8. Starship Africa: The Acoustics of Diaspora and of the Postcolony

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pp. 196-219

First, let us imagine a time capsule loaded with various planetary music of the twentieth century, including a sample of roots reggae music of the 1970s compiled by a Jamaican producer such as Bunny Lee or Augustus Pablo. Then, let us suppose that the producer, in error, submitted King Tubby’s dub remixes instead of the vocal versions that would, at the request of the project’s organizers, have ostensibly addressed some representative social/cultural/...

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Coda: Electronica, Remix Culture, and Jamaica as a Source of Transformative Strategies in Global Popular Music

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pp. 220-260

Directly and indirectly, the comments that open this chapter highlight several of the conceptual cornerstones of Jamaican music in the roots era, as well as their influence on the creation of popular music in the digital age. The stylistic traits of contemporary dance music cannot be solely attributed to dub, but the fact that many American and European remixes are now labeled on recordings...

Appendix: Recommended Listening

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pp. 261-270

Notes

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pp. 271-300

Bibliography

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pp. 301-316

Index of Songs and Recordings

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pp. 317-322

Index of General Subjects

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pp. 323-338

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Series Page, About the Author

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pp. 339-342

Michael Veal is an associate professor of music at Yale University. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University. He is the author of Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon (Temple University Press, 2000), a sociocontextual...