Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae

Dub: Michael Veal

Author: Michael Veal
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
Copyright: 2007

Jamaica is a like a tiny wire connecting the heavy cultural polarities of Africa and North America, and it glows red-hot. Dub by Michael Veal is more than a thorough history of the influential musical form, it is a fascinating primer on the origins and evolution of the Jamaican recording industry. You’ve heard of American Hot Wax, but have you heard of Jamaican soft wax? This book will school your bald head on the real meanings of some common (and not so common) industry terms such as version, riddim, special, selector, and dub plate. Ever wonder what The Clash were so excited about when they whaled out crazy shite like “Sledgehammer style!” and “Ray Symbolic!”? This book explains it all as it provides entre into a gritty and soulful world marked by a revolving door of session musicians, exploited vocalists, mafia record “producers”, rival sound systems, DJ’s, skanking consumers, and gun-men. Are the origins of dub the mere result of a third world economy’s industry-driven recycling of a limited resource by an oligarchy of fat cats? Could simple supply and demand lead to a Rocker’s Delight? You decide. What can’t be denied is the crucial impact of dub and Jamaican music on a world of artists, genres, and listeners.

Rating: A full bottle of Ting

Online Action: Wesleyan University Press

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