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Tubby's Dub Style: The Live Art of Record Production

Williams, Sean (2012). Tubby's Dub Style: The Live Art of Record Production. In: Frith, Simon and Zagorski-Thomas, Simon eds. The Art of Record Production: An Introductory Reader for a New Academic Field. Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series. Ashgate Publishing, pp. 235–246.

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Abstract

By no means is King Tubby's sound entirely reducible to the tools he used, but I propose that the affordance of the tools and the way in which many of them were repurposed had a substantial effect on the identity of that sound. His repurposing of various machines such as the high-pass filter and the four-track tape, and the inherent limiting factors present in them, channeled his creativity and helped produce his distinctive style.

Given the paucity of written documentation of Jamaican music practices coupled with the variegated and often conflicting oral accounts, a material approach is one which, by focusing on the physical evidence expressed in the tools and technologies used, attempts to cut through the layers of mythology and reveal the working conditions in Tubby's studio and some of the relationships between them and Tubby's experimental music practices.

I show how criticism of this music can benefit from such a material approach, and this type of analysis can also be usefully applied to other electronic music makers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, and therefore be used as a way of comparing and contrasting diverse musical styles. However, this chapter focuses on showing how Tubby's innovative use coupled with the material affordances in his instruments contributed to the sound associated with his studio, and clearly demonstrates the diffusion of the compositional process between the roles of engineer, producer, and performer - here unified in one individual.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2012 The Editors & The Authors
ISBN: 1-4094-0678-4, 978-1-4094-0678-5
Keywords: popular music; music recording; music reproduction; recording and reproduction; sound recordings; King Tubby; dub
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > Music
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 48773
Depositing User: Sean Williams
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 15:47
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:50
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/48773
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