Dub Station

If you ever see an affordable copy of King Tubby Meets the Aggrovators At Dub Station on cd or vinyl buy it and then give me a call. I’ve been after it for some time. Recorded in 1975 (and reissued on cd in 2007 and currently out of print) it is a superb dub reggae album. The cd reissue is currently priced on Discogs at getting towards £45. A vinyl copy on Amazon marketplace is being offered at £134.00. Yup. So if you chance upon a copy in a charity shop, car boot sale or second hand shop that doesn’t check Discogs, buy it. You won’t regret it and it may just become a handy nestegg. Not that you’d want to sell it.

A Youtube uploader has handily put the whole album up and the bonus disc of another twelve songs. Bunny Lee (on the phone above) assembled The Aggrovators as the house band at his studio an throughout the 70s and 80s they included the cream of Jamaica’s musicians. Jackie Mittoo, Sly and Robbie, Aston Barrett and countless others passed through the ranks. King Tubby was Bunny Lee’s go-to man for dub effects and this album showcases Tubby’s skills with tape manipulation, echo, sound effects and all manner of tricks. The band, particularly the rhythm section, are on fire throughout- bouncy and punchy on the faster tracks, spaced and stoned on the slower ones. Horns and woodwind provide fanfares and melody, riding above the stunning bass.

Advertisements

King Size

Eric Cantona turned forty nine a couple of days ago. He was, as far as we’re concerned in this part of the world, the King. In modern football terms, as they said about The Clash, Eric is the only footballer that mattered.

King Tubby’s productions are rightly the stuff of legend, the work of a man who re-shaped music. Ideally some of the dubs he cut in the 1970s should be listened to alongside the A-side, running together. This one from 1976 has the lead side of Johnny Clarke’s Don’t Trouble Trouble and then at 3.27 Tubby’s Ruffer Version from the flip. Phased horns, machine gun fire, underwater sounds, sirens, the odd snatch of vocal and the sublime bass of The Aggrovators original rhythm track.

Dub Fi Gwan

This King Tubby track is what dub should sound like (to my ears anyhow). Tubby mixing it live at the desk, The Aggrovators supplying the tick-ticka-tick-ticka-tick rhythm and excerpts of dub-a-dub-dub-dub bass with some spacey FX and phased guitar chords.  One of the first dub tracks I ever heard (via the Blood and Fire comp King Tubby: Evolution of Dub 1975-1979, essential). Out of this world.

Dub Fi Gwan