February 8, 2009

Dub Punk [The Ruts + Mad Professor]

Still waiting for "Volume 2"

Music inherently is an art form that builds on itself, often developing new genres by mixing previous ones. Rock sprung from jazz and the blues, house music from minimalism and disco, hip-hop from funk and so forth. However, sometimes new music forms are created by literally slapping two seemingly opposing genres together to create something wonderful. Such is the case with the marriage of punk and dub.

Lately I've been listening to a great piece of "dub punk" called Rhythm Collision, an LP produced by the punk group the Ruts and modern dub aficionado Mad Professor. Originally released in 1982, Rhythm Collision is two music genres bringing the best out of each other. Filtering punk music through dub gave the former greater sonic diversity, while dub itself was given greater notoriety and respect by attaching itself to a popular music genre at the time. While punk groups like Public Image Ltd., the Clash and the Slits made punk music that incorporated elements of reggae and dub, Rhythm Collision represents a rare musical work where the two genres are given equal standing.

Ultimately, Rhythm Collision is proof that what's on paper doesn't necessarily translate to what is practiced. The seemingly contrary marriage of dub and rock is now widely accepted, with many modern rock bands, particularly those of the dance-rock persuasion, emphasizing dub in their musical compositions. It's safe to say that Rhythm Collision helped bring that reality to fruition.
The Ruts/Mad Professor - Push Yourself (Make it Work) [Rhythm Collision LP, 1982]
The Ruts/Mad Professor - Weak Heart Dub [Rhythm Collision LP, 1982]

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