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Old 21st Jan 2021, 9:46 am   #1
turretslug
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Default King Tubby on Radio 4

A programme on the legendary Jamaican sound engineer on Radio 4 1130 today (21/01/2021), whose background in electronic repair and PA/mixer construction gave him genuinely informed insight into the art and science of music, a pioneer of the genre-sweeping technique of dub.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000rc4h

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Tubby

Last edited by turretslug; 21st Jan 2021 at 10:01 am. Reason: Scheduled time correction
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 10:35 am   #2
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

Thanks for the heads-up turretslug.

King Tubby was a musical pioneer. His dub tracks still sound remarkable.

Brings back happy memories of The Dub Club, West London, in the early 90's.
Those sound systems really gave your liver a good shake up.

Last edited by Xyience; 21st Jan 2021 at 10:36 am. Reason: minor typo
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 11:27 am   #3
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

I shall be listening to that, thanks. Still got 'Original Rockers' in vinyl, first heard it in the infamous Dockland Settlement in Bristol back in about 1979.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 11:33 am   #4
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

I will give that a listen.

I'm also a fan of Lee Perry. I am not sure of his technical skills, but he is still around.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 11:35 am   #5
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

King Tubby on Radio 4?! What is the world coming to?

Seriously though, I heard the trailer for that and it sounds worth a listen.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 11:49 am   #6
turretslug
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

I dunno, Nick- there was a programme on BBC WS about the Polish reggae scene a while back! (Reggae, as the music of the under-dog, hit a chord with the Poles).

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Old 21st Jan 2021, 4:28 pm   #7
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

My son is engaged to a girl of Jamaican heritage, and her brother is involved with recording studios and is a good musician as is her father, so I have become interested in these pioneers like Lee "Scratch" Perry & King Tubby.
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Old 21st Jan 2021, 5:03 pm   #8
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

I had a good collection of Ska records back in the day, Lee Perry and The Upsetters, Tommy McCook and The Supersonics, Prince Buster, The Skatalites etc.

Lawrence.
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Old 22nd Jan 2021, 12:10 am   #9
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

Is Tommy McCook the only artist ever to record a track that bears the same title as a valve type number - 'KT88' - wonder if there was a story behind that
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Old 22nd Jan 2021, 2:41 am   #10
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by electrogram View Post
Is Tommy McCook the only artist ever to record a track that bears the same title as a valve type number - 'KT88' - wonder if there was a story behind that
All I can tell you is on this pressing

https://www.discogs.com/Tommy-McCook...lease/11263994

The B side is by Peter Tosh and is called (wait for it)
807!!
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Old 22nd Jan 2021, 6:29 am   #11
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

Wasn't expecting that ! First heard Tommy McCook decades ago but only relatively recently heard KT88
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 4:28 pm   #12
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

I got my partner a wonderful book for Xmas containing previously unseen photos from the shoot of the film 'Rockers' - and I highly recommend the book for anyone with an interest in the scene. There is a great photo of Tubby powering up a sizeable valve amp, with entourage looking on.

A few years back, I went to an AES lecture tracing the history of audio technology from 1880-1980. I learnt that there really is nothing new under the sun. For example, at the time, the Internet was awash with discussion bemoaning excess dynamic compression in modern releases. I discovered that labels had embraced excessive limiting as a potential means for commercial advantage with the advent of the delta-mu valve in the 30s. Various 'pancaked' recordings from the time were played. The lecture was given by the incomparable Sean Davies. He ended with a track by King Tubby, explaining that he felt this was about as advanced as things got, and it seemed a fitting point to end the lecture.

To my mind, Tubby and his contemporaries such as Jammy and Perry revolutionised the way future generations would approach recording equipment. Up until that point, studio engineering had been regarded as a pretty dry, academic discipline, often handled by men in lab coats. They approached studio electronics as if they were instruments in their own right, looking at them from a completely different different angle. I think Tubby's influence resonates as strongly today as ever.

I shall check the R4 doc - thank you for the heads up!
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 4:33 pm   #13
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

NB: I used to know a kit supplier who claimed that one of the Reggae systems he sold amp kits ran them in Class A, cooling them by pumping cold water through household radiators. Water cooling is common, but doing it for Class A amps is a new one to me!
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 11:13 pm   #14
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

Thanks for posting that made my Saturday evening more interesting, off to find my Augustus Pablo vinyl's for a session
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 1:45 am   #15
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

That seemed pretty good although a little patronising. Thanks for the link TS, but as for King Tubby on Radio 4 [Nick p5*] well Radio 4 does cover a lot of ground. However, King T is fairly central to Radio Lancashire's "On The Wire" which has been going since the mid eighties! It ran an entire program on his studio techniques once but I failed to get it recorded before the 30 day I-Player expiry date. Today's was a good effort but typically for the Beeb, way behind it's own "yoof" curve. I'm not even a great Reggae fan my self but my son who runs festivals is. I have some early BBC Bob Marley Studio footage of Redemption Song that is very impressive!

Few people realise that he moved to Delaware USA with his mother at one point and worked in a factory there. They have a BM Festival every year. Delaware is named after the English Earl of Sussex who sailed there in the 1600's. There's a sixties "comedy" song based on the names of the "United" States inc "What did Della Wear boys?". Here in Bexhill we have the Delaware Pavillion built as the "People's Palace" by the 9th Earl in 1935. As far as I know he is the only Aristocratic Socialist Local Mayor in England so far! He disappeared with an actress but we still don't like to talk about it Locals here sometimes refuse to believe me about the history of their town but Delaware has places named Kent, Sussex and Wilmington etc. It's famous for it's wineries and recently one of it's politicians, Joe somebody or other, got promoted... only last Wednesday!

It seems to be rather conservative in nature-possibly even dull? There is an episode of the magnificent Simpsons [I actually live in the Simpsons House] in which they win the lottery and Homer then gleefully says that they can now do 'anything' they want to-maybe even go on holiday to Delaware and visit the Sliding Glass Door Factory That's the funniest thing about the show. Children [quite understandably] don't get the send up but overall, neither do the US adults as far as I can tell!

Dave W

Of course the other people who really shook up the Recording Studio White and Brown Coats ethos were the Beatles "Knobtwiddler p12*"

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Old 24th Jan 2021, 8:04 pm   #16
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

Forgot to mention that Geoff Emerick's book "Here, There and Everywhere" really does give the low down on the class ridden structure of the Recording Industry at EMI in the early sixties, the lack of appreciation from management and the Heath Robinson experiments that broke rules to invent new sounds. This would be in parallel to the sort of experiments King Tubby was up to in his own field. I suppose you could add Brian Wilson, Jo Meek, Les Paul the Kinks and The Who all into that "Mix" as well.

Dave W
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 8:19 pm   #17
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

I’m embarrassed to say I have no idea what dub is?
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Old 25th Jan 2021, 12:55 am   #18
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristianFletcher View Post
Iím embarrassed to say I have no idea what dub is?
I understand it's drum and bass-guitar music, influenced by reggae and marijuana, m'lud.
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Old 25th Jan 2021, 6:46 am   #19
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

The programme explains alll, should you really want to know...
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Old 25th Jan 2021, 7:24 am   #20
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Default Re: King Tubby on Radio 4

Quote:
I’m embarrassed to say I have no idea what dub is
Really, your a youngish bloke Christian and must have heard the theme tune to "The Secret Life of Machines" that was on channel 4 -The Russians Are Coming by Val Bennet, not really a dub plate but nearly there.

I heard about the program on R4, not really a fan of King tubby but will give it a listen, prefer Lee Perry or Prince Fari. For anyone not familiar with Dub check out Return of Super Ape by Lee Perry & The Upsetters - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKdezuZ63TM

Also see here for Dub techniques used in the studio- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmEwSLuUbsI

Andy.
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