Suns of Dub rises - Major Lazer produces new sound from roots reggae artistes

Published: Sunday | December 15, 2013 Comments 0

Jordane Delahaye, Contributor

Suns of Dub (SoD) is a dub/dubstep group, record label and sound system which moves from Jamaica, Trinidad and New Jersey. The project is spearheaded by producer Ras Jammy and Addis Pablo - musician and son of dub reggae legend Augustus Pablo - and is a part of Augustus Pablo's Rockers International.

The group recently teamed up with Walshy Fire and Major Lazer to produce a dub mixtape also titled Suns of Dub. The mix which is 70 minutes long, carries 31 tracks and is now available on Soundcloud for download.

Suns of Dub presents dub music like it has never been heard before and features some of reggae's finest.

It kicks off with an Electronic Dance Music tune titled Vybz Wa Yuh Feel and ends with No Woman No Dub - a heady dub remix of Bob Marley's megahit, No Woman, No Cry.

It is important to note that while SoD played with the musicality of the song to create a more impactful sound, the consciousness behind the lyrics remains intact. It is this careful manipulation that makes Suns of Dub such a jewel.

Walshy Fire, Addis Pablo and Ras Jammy manage to capture the essence of dub music and present it with some fresh perspective with this mix.

Included among the 31 tracks on Suns of Dub are interviews with both Addis and Ras Jammy.

The interviews offer a more intimate listening experience as it allows you a small glimpse into the psyche of the masterminds behind the music.

"The interviews are always going to be a part of my mix CDs. I want to ensure that the people listening hear the artiste's voice and listen to them explain their ideas to accompany the music," Walshy Fire revealed.

Start a Fyah, Walshy Fire's last mixtape with one of Reggae's young princes - Chronixx - featured a similar pattern.

Chronixx is also featured on Suns of Dub in what are two of Walshy Fire's favourite songs from the compilation, but the young talent isn't the only musician representing Jamaica's fledgling Reggae Revival movement on the mixtape.

Young musicians like Jah9, Kabaka Pyramid and Protoje also lent their talent to the project.

From EDM to real roots reggae, Suns of Dub explores an extensive range of music through dub.

The creators even infused some steel pan music into the mix, making Suns of Dub one of the most complete dub mixes to date.

Dub, according to Walshy Fire, is the breaking down and rebuilding of a song. The process of making dub music he says involves taking apart a song, focusing on each individual sound, bringing each one of those sounds to more prominence and building a new energy.

Creating the Suns of Dub mixtape was a far more tedious process, but one which Walshy Fire endured with delight.

"The process was about six months long, same as with the Chronixx mix. First I take all the music that they have created and sit with it, listening to everything over and over. Then I go and actually hang out with them - no music, just normal parring. When you do that you begin to understand who they are and what they believe in and what to do with the music," said Walshy Fire.

According to Walshy Fire, building a friendship with the artistes plays an important role in making a great collaboration on a project.

The next step, he revealed, was to come up with ideas. Ideas like instructing Addis to "do something" on a Slum Village song resulting in Addis giving an expert rendition of Fall in Love on his melodica.

Sometimes the inspiration will come directly from Addis or Ras Jammy and as Walshy Fire explained: "Since we are friends first, I then know exactly where to go with the music."

There are many who believe dub music is a dying genre but they could not be more wrong. Dub is striving, says Walshy Fire.

"There is a huge global audience for dub. I was noticing that at almost every Major Lazer show I was doing, there would be a side stage that was just dub. I mean fully just roots reggae the entire festival. People LOVE it. You can't go anywhere in Europe and not hear it," the DJ expressed.

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