This compilation is a giving-credit-where-credit-is-way-way-overdue collection of the riddims that launched a generation of ’70s Jamaican singers and dub reggae as we know it.
While most recent efforts to give props to early reggae artists either compile bygone hits from underappreciated vocalists (see any Blood & Fire reissue) or jock the eccentric knob-twiddling of more colorful producers like Lee “Scratch” Perry (who may have made decent records 20 years ago but lately has turned into a touring joke playing reggae versions of Motown songs for the spring break crowd). 100% not only concentrates on what makes King Tubby (aka Osbourne Ruddock) influential, but also what makes him relevant. As heard in the timeless riddims of “Narrow Dub” and “Real Gone Crazy Dub” by his ace studio band (featuring pre-Black Uhuru members Sly and Robbie, et al.) there is a still-current studio ingenuity here. Tubby may have been too busy making quality music to live the kind of life that makes for good marquee value, but he damn well knew how to put together a mighty rhythm section.
Unlike Perry, the emphasis here is on sustaining and maintaining instead of standing out, which is why Tubby’s concentric rhythms still resonate in dancehall today. What’s more, said rhythms can still rock a car system better than any neo-crunk rap nonsense that’ll be forgotten by summer. While labels from New Jack reggae label BSI to German techno icons Basic Channel all fly the flag of the expansive sonic reinvention of dub, 100% of Dub reminds us it was Tubby who raised the sumbitch in the first place.
E-mail Hobey Echlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.