Augustus Pablo, King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown

Jeff Chang

By Jeff Chang

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown

Augustus Pablo

King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown may be one of the most influential pop records of the last 30 years. Dub reggae began as 45 single B-side filler, strictly for dancers and collectors. But when "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown" — a drastically altered version of Jacob Miller's "Baby I Love You So" by keyboardist Augustus Pablo and dubmaster King Tubby — became an unexpected hit, it paved the way for dub's breakthrough and viral infection of global pop.

One of the most influential pop records of the last 30 years

This album compiles Pablo and Tubby's best B-sides from 1972 to 1975. Through technical and sonic innovations, studio wizard Tubby was transforming what was once a sound-system gimmick. When he joined the minimalist-minded Pablo, the duo crafted enchanting, revolutionary B-sides, featuring Pablo fronting the Aggrovators band with Tubby and his assistant Errol Thompson on the knobs. The riddims were anchored by the raw snap of Carly Barrett's drums and the throbbing bass lines of Robbie Shakespeare and Aston "Family Man" Barrett. Tubby distorted and shredded the sounds while Pablo's melodica floated above. On tracks like the stunningly reduced "Brace's Tower Dub" and the still unmatched "Satta Dub," every measure was charged with invention. Dub seems written into pop's DNA now, and this is where it all begins.