I have dabbled in Dub (Reggae Dub – not Dub Step!) for many years.
I have written about how Mikey Dread and The Clash turned me on to Dub with their tracks “Police and Thieves Dub” and “Bank Robber Dub” from the Black Market Clash album.
I had been familiar with Bob Marley and Reggae, but this Dub stuff was kind of blowing my mind.
I even got into it when I got back to buying vinyl again, picking up some Robbie & Sly and some Lee Perry. I picked up a book on Dub that finally explained the magic behind what I was hearing and the confusing array of so-and-so meets so-and-so albums.
If you have any interest in this genre of music I highly recommend it. “Michael Veal – Dub”
I have to confess though that it was the King Shilo Soundsystem that finally broke the dam open and launched me headlong into it with a passion. Who is King Shilo? He is a selector in terms of the genre. He plays tracks on a giant rig, adds some sirens and reverb and spins the record back at times in conjunction sometimes with toasters (people who sing along to the tracks) and interject stuff here and there. So… a DJ? Not exactly. Though that is a pretty close comparison.
I’m sure I stumbled onto this video after a long slide down the rabbit hole, but it really struck me. The music, the crowd, the toasters… man it just hit all the right notes. Check it out.
The sound is not top-notch from the live camera, but it’s more the feel of the music that got me. I found myself finding all the King Shilo shows on You Tube and devouring them. Good work music too by the way.
I started checking out other sound systems.
Then I found some great dub mixes.
Then experimented with some Rocksteady and Rub-A-Dub.
… and here is where things went a little crazy.
I decided that I would like to listen to King Shilo on my I-Pod. So I tried my typical method to download the music of the video from You Tube. The method I use is a bit outdated and fraught with advertisements and fake downloads and pop-ups and I don’t recommend it, but I eventually got it.
A few weeks passed, and I kept listening to this stuff. I tried Aba Shant-I, I found a killer show by the Coxone Sound System (‘Rare’ Coxsone Sound 1986 Supercat, Nitti Gritti, Nicodemus, King Kong, Frankie Paul. Brixton 86 – find this one, you’ll love it) and found an amazing Dub radio show called Dub Me Crazy Radio Show that had over 200 (multiple hour) episodes.
I wanted all of this music, but no way in hell was I going to use that crap site I was using to get them. On a whim I checked the Microsoft Store to see if they had an app that would do the same. I didn’t hold out a lot of hope because I had done this in the past and it kept crashing and I ended up deleting it.
This time however, I got an app called FLVTO. I was amazed that it not only worked, but worked fantastically. I downloaded 4 or 5 other King Shilo sets in like a few minutes and spent the next few nights setting up a huge list of You Tube videos to download as MP3’s.
This went on for about a week. Suddenly I had over 40 Gig of Dub, Rocksteady, Rub-A-Dub, Soundsystem, Festival appearances and some full albums to boot. It was an entire evening’s work just to sort it all out.
I especially love the Trojan Compilations and the Dub Me Crazy Radio Show. I think it would take several weeks to listen to just those.
If you don’t care about listening to an album or a show as one long single track, then FLVTO is for you. I don’t know when You Tube changed from having only short videos to having full live shows and multiple hour long videos (I downloaded a 4 hour dub mix!) but it is all out there and eventually I had to just stop when I realized I was going to be retired by the time I listened to all of this.
If you are interested in Reggae, whether it be Dub, Rocksteady, Rub-A-Dub or Soundystem, you should definitely check out You Tube and listen to some mixes. See where it takes you.
In case you stumble onto my music backup external years from now… this is how it happened.
Thank you You Tube.
Thank you FLVTO.