Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 2009

Part 2 - Dubbed out edition...
Ahh, dub... is there a music genre chiller than thee? Most people know dub as a close relative of reggae - it is, in fact, often called dub-reggae. It's true that dub, in essence, is just slowed down, spaced out reggae, anchored by a deep, stuttering, simple bassline. But really, dub was born before reggae was reggae. In its infancy reggae was just Jamaican-inflected soul/pop - in the vein of Motown - and early dub producers played a large part in shaping the artform as we know it today.

One such producer was King Tubby, widely regarded as the patriarch of dub. Tubby, a Jamaican electronics engineer, learned to remix popular R&B tunes using primitive, but then-innovative, EQ equipment. He would often remove vocals and employ a range of filter effects like echo and reverb to the recordings. “Tubby was able to 'play' the mixing desk like an instrument, bringing instruments and vocals in and out of the mix (literally 'dubbing' them) to create an entirely new genre known as dub music” [thanks, Wiki].

Tubby’s dubs, which favored spaciousness and minimalism, were used by DJs at sound system parties – essentially ghetto block parties emceed by a local dude with a slew of speakers and audio equipment.

Dub has always been producers’ music. This is evidenced by the fact that just about any song can be mixed into a dub rendition at the hands of a capable producer. DC’s downbeat super-duo, DJs/producers Thievery Corporation, have cited dub, along with Brazilian samba, as their biggest influence. Today, electro producers call some of their spacier, extended remixes “dubs,” despite their usual lack of Jamaican/Caribbean flavor (see Classixx’s take on the Major Lazer track below). Really, this labeling makes sense since these guys are employing the basic ideas of dub, just with electro instrumentation.

It’s not all dub this time though. If you’ve never listened purposefully to Neil Young’s shredding, here’s your chance. His guitar work on “Like a Hurricane” is some of the best he’s laid down in the studio. Emotional, emotive, and inventive… pure Neil.

Track List
1) the Beatles - She's So Heavy (I Want You)
2) Chin Chin - Peterdactyl
3) Feist - One Evening
4) Little Dragon - Looking Glass
5) Major Lazer - Cash Flow (Classixx Glass Bottom Dub)
6) Major Lazer - Cash Flow
7) Ryan Shaw - Do the 45
8) Ryan Adams - Shakedown on 9th Street
9) Neil Young - Like a Hurricane
10) the Dynamics - Seven Nation Army
11) Fat Freddy's Drop - the Camel
12) DOOM - Gazillion Ear
13) DOOM - Lightworks
14) Das Rascist - Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell (Wallpaper remix)
15) Augustus Pablo and King Tubby - Corner Crew Dub
16) Iron & Wine - Wolves (Song of the Shepherd's Dog)
17) Wilco - Theologians

Part 1
Say what you will about the San Francisco duo Girls (they're fucked up, drug-addled, androgynous dreamers... there, that about does it), these guys make some beautiful, affected songs. Their full-length debut, simply titled Album, drops the 22nd of this month. Recommended for fans of Beach House, the Beach Boys, and the Libertines. Check the song and video below.

A few weeks ago a friend, Dave, introduced me to an album I can't believe I've slept on for so long - Diplo's Florida. The Major Lazer co-conspirator's 2004 LP provides a hazy glimpse into his musical future, certainly in terms of talent, thought not necessarily style-wise. The trashy Tampa/Miami club drums (think Hit Stix) that have become synonymous with his dubstep movement are still there. Other than that, the album's sound is - like its titular state - drugged out and swampy, more a tribute to his homeland than the Afro-dub world explorations that occupy his time and talent today.

Also on board this month is Washed Out, aka Ernest Greene, a young synth wizard from Georgia who specializes in warm, midtempo beats. If Vice-era Miami had sedatives slipped in its water supply it might have sounded something like this (I guess this month's theme is drugs?).

Tobacco could be Washed Out's jaded godfather. You might know him as the bandleader of psychedelic freaks Black Moth Super Rainbow... or maybe not. In any case, this guy has been going all Timothy Leary on the avant music scene, spiking the punch with his vintage analog synth sounds and signature Vocoder vocals. Anything he touches turns instantly creepy and groovy, and I think he's influencing a lot of people right now. Good news. Here he puts his touch on a HEALTH song.

You'll notice a couple repeat artists from last month (Quantic, Ocote Soul Sounds) and that's because I still can't get enough of the Latin jazz-funk that's been popping off this summer.

If I'm not the only person who feels these posts are beginning to run together a bit, please suggest some themes or ideas for future posts - there's a seldom used Comments function at the bottom of each post.

As always, just click play and enjoy. And if you didn't know, you can download the featured mp3's by clicking on the DivShare logo in the player.

Track List
1) Girls - Hellhole Ratrace
2) Radiohead - These Are My Twisited Words
3) Diplo - Way More
4) Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada - Coconut Rock

5) Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada - Pan, Chamba y Techo
6) Paul Simon - I Know What I Know
7) Washed Out - Hold Out
8) Sebastian Tellier - Kilometer (A-Trak Remix)
9) Dave Matthews Band - Dancing Nancies
10) Dr. Dog - the Breeze
11) Levon Helm - When I Go Away
12) Buraka Som Sistema - New Africas 2
13) Juan MacLean - Accusations
14) HEALTH - Die Slow (Tobacco Remix)
15) Diplo - Money Power Respect
16) Quantic and His Combo Barbaro - Arianita


12 years ago? crazy


  1. Dude! this is your best post yet! I'm loving the theme and how it just seeps into all of your descriptions. Thanks for introducing me to Diplo and Girls!!!

  2. D, thanks for taking the time to register and comment. I think I've fixed it now so that you don't have to go through all that in order to comment.