7/7: Dub, Radius, Low Motion Disco, the Titanic is Always Sinking, James Joyce

Dub began with a mistake.

Plenty of great things have. In 1968, Jamaican sound operator Ruddy Redwood went to cut an acetate of his music at Treasure Isle studio in Kingston. The engineer accidentally left the vocal track off the album, but Redwood liked what he heard and used it shortly thereafter as a track over which one could “toast.”

By 1973, various instrumental reggae “versions” (or dubs) were very popular; the difference between these dub tracks and Redwood’s being that extent to which the producers reshaped, modified, or remixed the original material.

Many of you are probably familiar with Lee “Scratch” Perry, but what you might not know is that in ’73 he hooked up with a guy named Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock (pictured above) and released the now famous Blackboard Jungle Dub with numerous other musicians under the name The Upsetters.

The rest is history.

By the middle of the ’80s dub was a massively popular genre that hit airwaves equally as hard as dance floors. England was especially fond of the form and producers like the Mad Professor and labels like On-U Sound (started by Adrian Sherwood) popped up, producing a variety of dub records, some of which stretched into fairly experimental territory. The influence of dub has extended well into the present day, with bands like The Orb, Orbital, Luomo/Vladislav Delay, Pole, Underworld, Sutekh, M.I.A., Killing Joke, Massive Attack, and Bill Laswell using the style’s conventions to their own end.

If you want to know more, jump on Google or go to your local record store and start picking up some compilations. They’re usually cheap and have enough music on them to keep you busy for months.

Radius, featured on this week’s show, was kind enough to contact Laughter (and correct me). His new record, Neighborhood Suicide, was produced by The Cozy Chair Console, but is on The Secret Life of Sound label. If you check out the comments for today’s show, Radius has kindly left all of us an interesting little link, which leads to an even more interesting website with a treat waiting for you. Many thanks to Radius, who will be featured on next week’s show.

Gavin Bryars has been thinking about the Titanic’s fate for nearly 30 years, now. There’s not much I can say about this piece that hasn’t already been said by someone else. Touch Music has a nice page devoted to it (you can order from the site, too) with various reviews included. Some are calling it the best recorded version of The Sinking of the Titanic. It features the talents of turntablist and sound guru Philip Jeck and multi-instrumentalist Alter Ego.

James Joyce, famous Irish author, poet, and flatulence pro, is the subject of a double-CD compilation to be released by Fire Records on the 22nd of July (in the US, it’s already available in the UK). Called Chamber Music, this collection features the talents of Jessica Bailiff, Califone, Mercury Rev, Flying Saucer Attack, Bardo Pond, Gravenhurst, Kinski, and many others. The source of inspiration is a collection of Joyce’s poems published in 1907 also titled Chamber Music. Each band gets a shot at interpreting one of the poems from this collection as a song. If Ed Harcourt’s contribution is any indication of this release’s quality, this is sure to be a sought after record.

Thanks for stopping by again this week. Next week’s show is going to feature quite a few requests, so if you’d like to have anything played on the air, please email me or leave me a comment here and I’ll make sure I get to it.

Enjoy the music!

DOWNLOAD: Laughter, 07/07/08 – Hour 1 – .mp3
DOWNLOAD: Laughter, 07/07/08 – Hour 2 – .mp3

01. Gary Wilson “You Think You Really Know Me” from You Think You Really Know Me (1977) on Motel

02. Mouse on Mars “Yippie” from Niun Niggung (2000) on Thrill Jockey

03. Tristeza “Are We People (Simon Raymonde Remix)” from Mixed Signals (2002) on Tiger Style

04. 10 Ft. Ganja Plant “Burning James” from Bass Chalice (2005) on ROIR

05. King Tubby “King Tubby’s Patient Dub” from Trojan Dub Box Set (1998) on Trojan

06. Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor “Bumper Ball Dub (Karmacoma)” from No Protection (1996) on Gyroscope

07. Vladislav Delay “Anima” from Anima (2001) on Mille Plateaux

08. The Orb “Perpetual Dawn” from Live 93 (1993) on Island

09. The Field “A Paw in My Face” from From Here We Go Sublime (2007) on Kompakt

10. Radius “Uptown (Awaken)” from Neighborhood Suicide (2008) on The Secret Life of Sound

11. Low Motion Disco “East Mountain Low” from Keep It Slow (2008) on Eskimo

12. Eliane Radigue “Adnos II (Excerpt)” from Adnos I – III (2002) on Table of The Elements

13. Gavin Bryars “The Sinking of the Titanic (Excerpt)” from The Sinking of the Titanic (1969-) (2008) on Touch

14. Emeralds “The Quaking Mess (Excerpt)” from Solar Bridge (2008) on Hanson

15. Ed Harcourt “III” from Chamber Music: James Joyce (1907). 1-36 (2008) on Fire

16. J. Spaceman & Sun City Girls “Mr. Lonely Viola” from Mister Lonely: Music from A Film (2008) on Drag City

17. Univers Zero “Docteur Petiot” from Univers Zero (2008) on Cuneiform — originally released in 1977

18. Paavoharju “Tuoksu Tarttuu Meihin” from Laulu Laakson Kukista (2008) on Fonal

19. Ulaan Khol “Untitled (3)” from I (2008) on Soft Abuse

20. Sutekh “Fire Weather” from Fell (2002) on Orthlorng Musork



  1. Yo! supreme kudos/respect! thanks for playing my track along with other great ones….I appreciate it! wanted to let you know the track was produced in the Cozy Chair Console but is on The Secret Life of Sound aka TSLOS.com Label

  2. I agreed with you

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