The downbeat Scientist
May 7, 2017 5:21 PM   Subscribe

A beginner’s guide to Scientist, dub reggae’s experimental genius -- A truly outstanding practitioner who thrived on innovation, Scientist helped dub reach some of its greatest heights of creativity. He became one of Jamaica’s most sought-after engineers at a very young age, his mixing artistry rising up in tandem with the Roots Radics in the late 70s and early 80s. Because of the incredible dub works he fashioned as an apprentice engineer at King Tubby’s studio, many dub fans consider Scientist to be the last of the classical Jamaican dub mixers, yet his overall contribution to the evolution of reggae is far more multifaceted than most realise. posted by Room 641-A (8 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite

I first became aware of Scientist via a local bar that's decorated with large prints of Toby McDermott's bizarre cover illustrations for Scientist's Greensleeves albums.

Scientist Wins The World Cup.
Scientist Meets The Space Invaders.
Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires.
posted by zamboni at 6:23 PM on May 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Nice post, thanks!

By the way there are some recent remastered Scientist records available, but due to legal reasons they are labeled "Junjo". The quality is excellent!

For example the 1981 remaster of "Junjo Presents: The Evil Curse Of The Vampires" mentioned above is (on Spotify)
posted by jeremias at 6:33 PM on May 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

My first Scientist was this, found when I went looking for dub after reading Neuromancer.
posted by curious nu at 7:55 PM on May 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

It's hard to put in words how magnificent Scientist dubs are. Outer space and earthly at the same time. For me the best music on the planet.
(on par with Lee Perry for who I've had plans to make a fpp but he's just too weird and prolific to compile a post about)
posted by Kosmob0t at 8:49 PM on May 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

By the way. This is an excellent article on it's own but I don't think it is necessarily the best way for beginners to get to know Scientist.

I'd recommend listening to his best work; any or all of his Greensleeves albums.

The article does mention this as his top period but only a couple out of the 12 highlighted tracks are from this period. The other tracks are sometimes pretty obscure and I'd say they're more for the seasoned fan like myself who didn't even know half of those tracks.

Some Youtubelinks to superb albums:

Rids the world of the evil curse of the vampires
same album with original songs added (very good way to hear what dub can do to standard songs)
Wins the World-Cup (also with original tracks added)
Space Invaders
Dub Landing
posted by Kosmob0t at 7:31 AM on May 8, 2017 [5 favorites]

I entered the world of dub thanks to my friend who lived on Lambeth Walk and had four things he was delighted to share: a sound system with excellent bass, an extensive collection of obscure reggae, dub, ska and other Jah-maker treats, an even more extensive connection into the local ganja and hash suppliers, and an ability to go for days without sleep.

Scientist et al are the petites madeleines which thrust me back thirty years with all the force of an out-of-control Tardis to my friend's front room, which even now I can see in my mind's eye in all the hazy, fragrant, 4 AM detail and re-experience in... many dimensions.

I am very pleased to say that, although time and circumstance has of necessity curbed some of the decibels and candle-burning, by no means all of it has slipped beyond our grasp. My friend and I are still to be found on occasion in the company of King Tubby and riding that spin echo into delicious oblivion. This music has been a very specific and extremely pleasurable part of my life, and we're both not done with it yet. Thanks for the post.
posted by Devonian at 6:37 PM on May 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

Thanks very much for posting. I'm a massive fan of dub, ska and rocksteady — especially in the summertime. Somehow I haven't ever got round to exploring Scientist's output. Correcting that oversight now.
posted by ZipRibbons at 2:08 AM on May 9, 2017

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