And in the late part of the 70’s a new musical style took form, and it emerged from the Jamaican soundsystem dances. It was labeled rub-a-dub or just dancehall with producers, singers and deejays such as Henry “Junjo” Lawes, Barrington Levy and Yellowman.
The importance of soundsystems and the rub-a-dub culture is now explored in the 60 minute music documentary Return of the Rub-A-Dub Style directed by Steve Hanft and produced by Tom Chasteen. The former was responsible for Beck’s internationally recognized music video Loser, while the latter has been a DJ and musician for 20 years, and now runs the Dub Club in Los Angeles, where the live material in the documentary was filmed.
It features interviews and blazing live footage of both well-known Jamaican artists as well as more unknown U.S. peers. Among the Jamaican legends included are Brigadier Jerry, Welton Irie, Ranking Joe, Scientist, Tristan Palma and the late Sugar Minott.
The crew behind the documentary has found several originators from 70’s, and this is a great way to hear their story and catch them live in action.
The album is produced by Tom Chasteen and Anthony Campbell and was recorded in Los Angeles and Kingston. It’s heavy, vivacious and organic in a foundation style with bass, guitar, drums, percussion and keys. The skanking is immediate and inescapable, and the album itself would actually be a worthwhile investment.
If you have read a reggae book or two this documentary will probably not provide you with any fresh news or unheard of information. But, seeing these legends live and telling their story is amazing.
File this one right next to your copy of UK soundsystem documentary Musically Mad.