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210 × 148 × 20 mm
264 pages
25 illustrations
01 Feb 2014

Remixology Tracing the Dub Diaspora Paul Sullivan

In Remixology: Tracing the Dub Diaspora Paul Sullivan explores the evolution of dub – the avant-garde form of reggae. Dub as a set of studio strategies and techniques was among the first forms of popular music to turn the idea of song inside out, and is still far from being fully explored. With a unique grip on dance, electronic and popular music, dub-born notions of remix and re-interpretation set the stage for the music of the twenty-first century.

This book explores the origins of dub in 1970s Kingston, Jamaica, and traces its evolution as a genre, approach and attitude to music to the present day. Stopping off in the cities where it has made most impact – London, Berlin, Toronto, Bristol and New York – Remixology spans a range of genres, from post-punk to dub-techno, jungle to the now ubiquitous dubstep. Along the way Sullivan speaks with a host of international musicians, DJs and luminaries of the dub world including Scientist, Adrian Sherwood, Channel, U-Roy, Clive Chin, Dennis Bovell, Shut Up And Dance, DJ Spooky, Francois Kevorkian, Mala and Roots Manuva.

This wide-ranging and lucid book follows several parallel threads, including the evolution of the MC, the birth of sound-system culture and the broader story of the post-war Jamaican diaspora itself. One of the few books to be written specifically on dub and its global influence, Remixology is also one of the first to look at the specific relationship between dub and the concept that cuts across all postmodern creative disciplines today: the remix.

‘The first whole book dedicated to the story of dub (reggaes sparser, more wayward, brother), Sullivan takes us on a journey across continents . . . Covers everthing from beginnings in Duke Reids backyard right through to Londons myriad influences, François K and the dub-disco, Basic Channel, Mark Stewart and Digital Mystikz. Thorough and thoroughly good.’ — Mixmag

‘Sullivan is skilled at finding accounts of reggae from its earliest days, and there are several illuminating interviews . . . the books detailed, if not exhaustive account of dubs key junctures, and its later eruptions from London and New York to Berlin and Bristol, provides a solid foundation for a history thats often haunted by myth and rumour. The footnotes and bibliography alone make for fascinating reading, and it features a strong, probing discussion of UK sound system connections, including Saxons influence on fast chat deejays such as Smiley Culture and Asher Senator, and the epochal but unheralded 1987 Soul All Dayer Of The Century Clash.’ — The Wire

‘Sullivans book does not pretend to be a theoretical analysis of dub as a musical form he is firmly on the journalistic side of popular music writing. However, Remixology is likely to prove very useful in academic debates about dub, electronica, rap, and DJ culture generally it provides a very clear, accessible history of a complex musical form, and it links each development to specific musical cultures first of all in Jamaica, then in the UK and US, and then the rest of the world (the book finishes with good accounts of dub-influenced music scenes in Germany and Canada, for example). Inter alia (and itself worthy of note) the book contains an excellent single chapter on the Bristol scene, which traces the evolution of Massive Attack, Tricky and Portishead from the early dub experiments of The Pop Group and The Wild Bunch sound system.’ — Years Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

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Paul Sullivan is a writer and photographer whose work has been published widely, including in The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, National Geographic and by the BBC. He is the author of many books on music, travel and culture.

1. The Kingston Context
2. Kingston’s Dub Pioneers
3. London: Sound System Culture, Digidub, and Post-punk
4. NYC: Dub, Rap, Disco, and Illbient
5. London II: UK Rap and the Dubcore Continuum
6. The Bristol Sound
7. Berlin: Glitch and Techno
8. Canada’s Dub Poetry and Dancehall

Bibliography and Filmography
Select Discography
List of Interviews
Photo Acknowledgements