Mad Professor (Ariwa Sounds) @ Dubspot – Video Interview + Workshop Recap

London’s Mad Professor – the dub icon who founded Ariwa Sounds – visited Dubspot NYC to present a live, streaming workshop on his signature sound. The Professor is a man on a mission to ensure the foundations of dub are respected as it mutates with a changing musical landscape generations removed from its beginnings. “I definitely expect dub to be represented properly, as it has been at the forefront of experimental electronic music for the past 30 years,” he proclaims. An important figure in the second wave of dub, he built the first incarnation of Ariwa studios in the late 70s and came up along with the sounds of lovers rock – one of the UK’s first iterations of black music. But he’s never been afraid to explore new genres, and while he’s worked with some of the most important artists in reggae such as U-Roy and Sly and Robbie, he’s also collaborated with the likes of Massive Attack and The Beastie Boys. Yet he’ll still challenge the youth, and will soon release a dub album called The Roots of Dubstep to emphasize the ‘dub’ in the ‘step’ and remind listeners of analog warmth. But true dub is about more than the technology you use, he points out. “Real dub is built on songs. When you hear a good dub album from the 70s by Tubby or Perry, the tracks are built on songs with proper constructions… A lot of the new guys don’t build on good a song, or at least not a very good song, so it doesn’t take you anywhere.” After the workshop, Mad Professor performed as part of the weeklong Dub Invasion Festival at The Knitting Factory with Twilight Circus.

Mad Professor on The Roots of Dubstep (2011, Ariwa)

[Mad Professor - "River Niger" | 1982.]

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