"There's no stems, leaves or branches without the roots…"
'Roots, Radics, Rockers and Reggae'
Dub, beyond question one of the most innovative musical genres of the latter half of the twentieth century, was never overly concerned with vocalists but, before a dub version could be created singers, songwriters and musicians had to first lay the musical foundations. Studio engineers would then demolish their work and, in the process, build something new on entirely different premises. Previously dub, in recording terms, had meant to copy, and overdub to add something by recording on top of an existing track, but dub now came to mean the opposite: taking away to make a music that had most of the vocals and instruments removed leaving only the bass and drum core.The vocalists' and musicians' attitude towards the development of dub was often ambivalent, sometimes openly hostile, as a large proportion of their contributions were erased in the creative process. A notable exception to the rule, Pat Kelly, possessed that rare combination of not only being a superb singer but who was also an exemplary engineer.
In 1969 the final release on The Wailers own Wail N Soul M label, a Bunny Wailer composition entitled 'Tread Along'/'Tread-O', was one of the first to feature an instrumental b-side: the backing track with only a few selected lines of the a-side vocal track known as a 'version'. The group had always appreciated the importance of the rhythm and the critical role played by Kingston's session musicians and, during the seventies the majority of releases on their own Tuff Gong, HIM Intel-Diplo and Solomonic labels featured b-sides that charted the transition of versions into thepreviously uncharted realms of dub.The history of dub has been well, and in many cases not so well, documented over the past forty years. Theacknowledged 'dub inventor',Osbourne 'King Tubby' Ruddock, conducted his sonic experiments at h.......