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Mang Dub
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Mang Dub
Bostons Dub Prophets
By Dori Kornspan

The Boston-based group Mang Dub is Dub Reggae at it's best. Dub music borrows from the styles of the 70's Jamaican underground. Mang Dub captures this sound with ease. Mang Dub's all-original instrumental dub breaks things down to the fundamentals. Many reviews have compared their style to be reminiscent of Jamaican artists such as: Lee 'scratch' Perry, King Tubby, Yabby You and Ras Michael. Dub music has never been more popular than it is today as people worldwide begin to rediscover it. Boston is no exception, as Mang Dub makes their mark on the Boston music scene and reintroduces reggae lovers to dub. After all that some of you may still be wondering, what exactly is dub reggae?

I sat down at the Western Front with Jason Lytle (JMARR) and Steve D, members of Mang Dub as they were loading in for a Thursday night show to find out more about dub...

DK: How did you get your name "Mang Dub"?
JMARR: We got the name from the "Jungle Books" by Roger Kipling. There is a character in them that is a bat and his name is Mang. He is sort of like the good guy bad guy character. That's where it comes from and a lot of our art work has bats on it.
DK: Explain to someone who doesn't know much about this music the dub part of it.
It's a lot of effects based engineering techniques pioneered by Jamaicans in the 70's. It's really meditation, experimentation, and music. They are all combined and we use a lot of delay effects with a lot of bass. It's basically all kinds of craziness going on with the sound.
DK: Is there a lot of dub being heard in the Boston reggae scene?
JMARR: Actually electronic music, ambient music, and house music all borrow styles from the dub. It is so ingrained in popular music nowadays that to say that other bands are not really embracing the dub stuff in the Boston area. If you really look at the origin of dub and how the music came out, it is really deeply ingrained in all of what's going on in a lot of different styles of music. We play a Jamaican traditional style dub, but you can hear the same kinds of things happening with a lot of different bands.
DK: Is it important to you guys to stay true to traditional reggae also?
JMARR: We like to listen to roots music and check out that kind of stuff, so that's what we like to play too.
Steve D.: There is also a time period we try to stay within. If you look at Jamaican history or music history its sort of like the golden age stuff that we like to stay in. It's like 70's and early 80's a little bit.
DK: How did you guys personally get started in dub because it's not the kind of music that everyone from Somerville would have knowledge about?
JMARR: A lot of the dub plates that they used originally they got singers in Jamaica to sing over. It really evolved into mainstream reggae, so if you listen to a lot of reggae you'll see that the same rhythm plates are used over and over again. You end up loving the rhythm, but maybe you don't like what someone sings over it, but you love the plate. Then you look for the dub version of it and it kind of takes off from there. That's how it happened for me.
Steve D. : Yeah, it is part of being a fan of the music and listening to a lot of different flavors or reggae, but we've also been playing reggae for fifteen years now. We've been in the business so long and seen so many reggae acts. I have always gravitated more to the dub stuff because it can mean so many things. It is not stamped with a meaning with some words on top of it. It's got more of a primal aspect to it and that's dub.


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