Scientist - The Best Dub Album In the World - LP
First 200 mailorder copies on orange vinyl. Pressed in an edition of 1000.
Scientist began as King Tubby's protege at Tubby's Drumalie Avenue Studios in Kingston (essentially the birthplace of dub) and Introducing Scientist: The Best Dub Album In the World was one of his first records released under his own name. This classic dub album is now available remastered and reissued on vinyl for the first time. Brand new bass heavy master by Scientist. Recorded at Channel One & mixed at King Tubby's.
Hopeton Brown calls himself Scientist for a reason. Before recording and releasing records of his own, he built amplifiers and speakers, tested sound systems, and innovated the use of the studio as a musical instrument. By pressing technology as far as it could go, and by keeping his ear on live sounds, Scientist pushed recorded music to its limit, challenging other bands, musicians, and engineers to utilize every part of the sound spectrum, from the lowest bass tones to the tightest snare snaps. Over 30 years later, his records are still capable of pushing sound systems to their limits.
Scientist made dub what it is, and we can hear how he did it on one of his earliest records, Introducing Scientist (The Best Dub Album In the World). Thanks to years of experience working with King Tubby, Hopeton Brown started his solo career almost fully-formed, and the title of this early album was meant to announce that fact. Everything about it is the best: the hi-fidelity recording quality, the best musicians Jamaica had to offer, and the technical talent of Scientist, who acted as conductor, engineer, and performer. Cutting rhythms, bass lines, and sound effects together more deftly than any DJ, Hopeton casts his dub jams from dizzying edits and pure attitude. On songs like Steppers and Scientific his confidence shines through in the way that he drops beats and folds echo blasts onto each other. The effects are psychedelic in places, but the cool reggae skank is never lost, and Hopeton keeps everything together, accentuating his technical prowess with his imagination and willingness to explore different moods.
One year later, Scientist continued his dub explorations with In the Kingdom of Dub. Filled with outstanding, almost bluesy guitar performances and glowing organ work, Hopeton's mixing is focused on the quality and color of the instruments he recorded. His bass lines are as clear and powerful as his reverb-drenched tom-toms, his edits are more fluid and less obvious, and the music has an organic quality that's so convincing that some cuts, like 305 Spanish Town Road Dub, sound as if they were recorded and mixed in a single take.
Countless musicians would follow Scientist down the roads he paved on these two records, but none would ever match his abilities. Countless others would benefit from his pioneering technical work, which demonstrated just how full and robust recorded music could sound. Scientist didn't just push the reggae sound to its limits, he helped rock and R&B to evolve as well. His dedication to the full spectrum of audible sound gave every bass more power, and every drum set more punch. And that all started with these records, now available in official fashion from Important Records.
2. Rubber Foot
6. Front Line
All Music Guide:
Titling this "The Best Dub Album in the World' may seem like a reckless boast—especially when the kid on the cover looks like he's about 18 years old, and given that he had only just emerged from the protective wing of King Tubby, arguably the greatest and certainly the most influential exponent of the dub craft in history. But young Hopeton Brown (professionally known as Scientist) backs it up nicely on this perfect jewel of an album. Originally issued in 1980, this collection makes clear what Brown had learned at the master's feet. His remixes of these classic reggae 'rhythms' (or instrumental tracks) show the clear influence of King Tubby in their sense of aural balance—notice how lovingly each instrument is showcased, even when he lays on the reverb and echo effects; notice also how the cuts and drop-ins seem to make musical sense even when they're surprising and seem to come out of left field. Other dub producers (such as the notoriously crazy Lee 'Scratch' Perry) may have been more creative, and some may have been more popular—but none was more scientific. So is this really the best dub album in the world? Well, no. That honor probably goes to the still-astonishing Augustus Pablo/King Tubby collaboration King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown. But this one is right up there.