Saturday, September 8, 2012


  WWW, September 8, 2012 - Widely considered to be the godfather of DUB, King Tubby's name is as essential in the art of remixing Reggae as Bob Marley is for Reggae in general. Osbourne Ruddock's oeuvre gets into the thousands if not tens of thousands of tracks, created in two decades of which the 1970's was the most productive one.

His career started way back in the 1950's, when he began repairing stuff for the sound systems. A talented repairman, Tubby's soon started his own sound system called King Tubby's Hometown Hi-Fi. His original approach would prelude his later DUB era as he would add effects to the tunes played on a pristine sound.

In the 1960's, Tubby would become a remixer for Duke Reid. Usually, these remixes or versions would simply be an instrumental counterpart of s vocal track and released on the B-side of 7" singles. But King Tubby went much further as he not only stripped the vocals but also other instruments. In just a few years time, the first decade of DUB was a fact.

He started his first studio in the early 1970's. It was a small studio, no room for recording music but designed to mix from multi-track tapes from other studio's. The very first dub room, if you will. In this studio, which later had room for recording vocalists as well, he mixed countless of DUB tracks and gave a DUB education his protégées like Prince Jammy and Scientist.

His enormous creativity would lead him to build bigger and better studio's until he started producing on top of his remixing in the 1980's. This lasted until February 1989, when he was violently killed in what many people assume was an attempted robbery. The murder has yet to be solved...

Unfortunately, King Tubby was not given the chance to see just what the art he created would lead to. The Art of DUB has itself given birth to, or is at least influential in the sound of many contemporary musical styles, like House and other Dance genres. Until this day, many popular artists will -rightfully- list him as source of inspiration.  

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