Blue Flower

in the early 70s not much dub music was made in the Uk. it gradually changed. most dub we had came from Jamaica on the b sides of most new 7 inch records.

The word as we knew it had 2 meanings. there was the music by people like Augustus Pablo which was dub made to be dub as in drum and bass. a lot of those dubs still originated as another version of classic reggae tracks. then there was instrumental version or b sides of most reggae tracks had a version which could be used by the MC or DJ as something we could toast on. Every one could toast in them days, lyrics were simpler. Then there is dub that a one would of cut specially for the sound system. for this sound or that sound. i was attracted to dub mixed by lee perry, king Tubby's,  . in the seventies, the echo chamber was the best thing that i never had. i learned my craft listening to king Tubby's music and a piece of paper with a four track mixer drawn onto it. the four channel mixer only had reverb and repeat echo. Yes . on a piece of paper. Two auxiliaries. any record that i heard the mix once, i was able to visualise how to perform it on the paper mixer.. which when i finally confronted the mixer in real life. my timing was as though i'd been mixing for years. from then on it was about EQ. at first it didn't bother me as much. till after recording and mixing our first few sessions, i came to the conclusion that the missing link to having a good dub mix was having a great ear for equalising the bass to sound fat and heavy  whilst keeping a good ratio to the rest of the instrument line up. The later way was the way i wanted to play music. My first dub was playing on the b side if a tune called white belly rat by lee perry. me on melodica. just the over dub session alone in 1975 i think it was 40 pounds it took about an hour in the studio or less.  (40 pounds was about a week and a half wages then) my first job in 1976 was for 18 pounds a week to put it in context. when i started to book my own studio time in the 77-78 we used a studio called beanstalk in camden town. Jah bunny (who used to show me the ropes) gave me the address. the price was four pounds an hour so we could only afford 3 - 4 hours at a time. that was my whole wages or a case of saving up for a few weeks     and in that time you had to set up your drum kit, practically everything . we didn't have a kit. all we had is a bass guitar. the studio drum kit never had a bass drum so guess what? we used the floor tom on its side as a bass drum. Yep. if you listen to Dennis Bovells (BABY AFTER TONIGHT) Same studio   The engineer was Ray Roberts ... this studio was a small four track affair with egg boxes on the ceiling and some walls. i don't think that the egg boxes did anything and I didn't care. All we wanted to do is quick recording and as many dub mixes as we could mix in the remaimimg studio time. that was my early days. thats also where i met Michael Dan. he was an engineer  who knew a lot of artists and was up in the london music scene as an engineer composer producer. one day he show me for instance why my wen copy cat was not performing correctly. first he cleaned the heads, then he made it echo to the point of feedback just by re routing it to itself so to speak. mikey used to say i mixed the twinkle brothers albums. The practice with paper was real as far as i could visualise . just making it reality was another set of skills namely money was the only thing in my way ( or not present) if we didn't get our music on a cassette , we couldn't listen to it because the tape was 1/4 inch recorded at 7.5 inches per second. i had a machine that played back at 3 7/8. so i used to listen to my mixes at half sped and still enjoy them.... Crazy i know but thats how i got my first dubs music together 1977