Augustus Pablo – King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown (1976)

This has to be one of my favourite releases ever, and the best thing is that it is completely out of the ballpark in regards to the music I usually find myself listening to. Despite my best efforts to listen to everything, and as much as I love dub reggae, it isn’t something I find myself listening to all that often, anymore at least. This insanely legendary collaboration between a few greats of the genre; the band (Rockers Uptown in this case, one can only guess?), the producer King Tubby and the melodica playing shaman himself, Augustus Pablo, is surely one of the best places to start in the seemingly endless, incestuous world of dub reggae (let me dub that third hand remix in a rub-a-dub style, fam).

Everything I love about dub is evident here. Take reggae music and strip it to the core, and if possible, remove as many vocal lines as possible. The bass must be deep. The guitars must be spacey as fuck. And the drums…well this is where Mr. Tub-A-Wub-A-Dub-Dub (I’m so sorry) excels the most. It really has to be heard to be believed. For me, it takes me back to my first trip to Amsterdam as a 20 year old wastoid, and all the sights and sounds of the coffeeshop scene and the freedom of the people involved in such (before shops started getting shot up and closed down by the government).

It’s hard to pick a stand out track because the whole thing kinda flows as one for me. It is music to get lost in, and often enough the entire record ends before you are anywhere near finished absorbing the vibe it gives. If I had to pick out favourites, I’d start with track 7, the title track, “Satta Dub” rounds the performance off with a bit of a menacing beat, and I guess I’d have to pick the opener too, “Keep On Dubbing” as it is the stuff of legend.