King Tubby – Roots of Dub (1974)

Reggae is one thing, Dub is another. King Tubby is the king of Dub music without equal.  Dub is the root base to nearly all of the reggae beats heard today and King Tubby was its founder.  I was recently turned on to King Tubby by a good friend of mine who has the largest reggae vinyl collection on earth.  One night while working in his studio he put on a King Tubby album entitled Dangerous Dub which was supposedly produced one weekend at the height of violence Kingston, Jamaica in the early 70’s.  King Tubby and his musicians supposedly barricaded themselves in a studio and that album was produced, it is a review for another day, but truly a work of genius.  Even if it is not true it makes the album that much more fun to listen and to imagine what it was like to make this music while gunshots were fired outside the walls of the studio.

Roots of Dub is  one of the first King Tubby albums and clearly a must for any true audiophile that appreciates reggae.  Tubby’s albums reveal  the basics of reggae as a musical genre.  One of the things I appreciate so much about King Tubby albums…they are entirely instrumental! Instrumental is not the traditional route of what most people would expect when first putting on any reggae album, but remember, this ain’t reggae, it’s dub music pure and simple.  It is best not to get over zealous with King Tubby albums, after owning about two that was just about enough; every albums begins to sound the same.  Many listeners have complained that numerous King Tubby albums are simply the same albums with the songs in different order, yet packaged to look like some long lost rare find, so beware.

Sadly the brilliance of King Tubby was ended in 1989, he was killed in a robbery of his studio in Jamaica.  Roots of Dub and Dangerous Dub are musts for your collection and fun albums to just put on when you feel like listening to timeless beats.  The album is as fresh sounding in 2009 as it was in 1974.

Roots of Dub gets a 5 out of 5.

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