Sunday, 7 February 2016
Oliver: King Tubby - Rebel Dance (12 January 1992)
Tortured am-dram/music metaphor ahead, so be warned.
Although I can sing well enough, I can't play any musical instruments. However, I'm becoming more convinced that I missed my true calling as a dub producer. To believe Wikipedia, it's all dropping in one channel and pulling out another. Presenting snippets of horns and strings against rocksteady guitar, bass and drum lines. Twiddle the knob and slide the fader at the right place and you've got it.
I'm aware this may sound like Tommy Saxondale DJ Bashing, and of course it isn't that simple. The dub producer has to have an extra set of ears, allowing him to hear outside of the track. You have the basis and then the embellishments, but curiously the embellishments come from within the basis. And they have to enhance rather than detract from it. You hear 2 different tracks within the same one and merge them together to create the supertrack. Directing's exactly the same. You see what's on the page and then think about how you can embellish what's written. You can't add to it, though you can cut it, and whatever thoughts you have need to be at the service of the story and not against it. As with the dropped in sample, you're sometimes looking for something to stir the audience out of their apathy or jog them out of the beat they've become accustomed to.
Many of you won't see my latest attempt to do this, but you can listen to King Tubby and then see if you agree with Tommy Saxondale.
"They go thumpedy, thumpedy, thumpedy, thumpedy, thumpedy thump!"
Videos courtesy of UnitedNewThinkers (King Tubby) and DJ Reach - Audio Visual Butcher (Saxondale).