Know your EDM: Dub Music

A big thanks to King Tubby, for bringing a new genre into the music scene: Dub.

Dub is a genre that grew out of the reggae-filled streets of Jamaica. It was created by significantly manipulating and reshaping existing recordings while emphasizing their rhythm section.

With his penchant for constant innovation, Osbourne Ruddock, better known as King Tubby, pioneered the creation of Dub. The famous “dub inventor” created this popular music back in the 1960’s in his tiny front-room studio in the Waterhouse ghetto of western Kingston.

Dub music is built on instrumental remixes of existing albums. It uses B-sides of 45 RPM records and typically emphasizes the drums and bass for a sound popular in local sound systems.

As the sound continued to evolve, Dub’s popularity influenced several music genres. In the 1980s, the United Kingdom became a new center for dub production. Punk and post-punk bands started to adopt the Dub technique, and it influenced many of their records. Some of the popular bands who have been influenced by this sound are The Police, The Clash, Sublime, Rancid, NOFX, Save Ferris, and No Doubt.

Three sub-genres were born from the dub sound: Afro-dub, Dubtronica, and most famous of all, Dubstep. Characterized by sparse, syncopated rhythmic patterns with prominent sub-bass frequencies, Dubstep’s influence is still present and highly seen in club music.

From punk rock to club music, the techniques and influence of Dub continues to gather steam and becomes more present than ever in the music we consume every day.

Part of creating any genre of music is learning how to create drum patterns, bass lines, chord progressions, and melodies. Building Blocks is an online music production and composition training course that will teach you how to write music in a DAW.