Scientist launches dubstep into outer space
aaamusic | On 27, Sep 2010
Tectonic’s most ambitious project to date, ‘Scientist Launches Dubstep Into Outer Space’ sees legendary dub engineer Scientist version 12 exclusive and unreleased dubstep rhythms from the scene’s top producers includingKode 9, Shackleton, Pinch and Mala. It’s a vital and unprecedented move for dubstep; one year in the making, uniting roots and futurism in visionary style. In archetypal style, Scientist puts decades of tactile, hands-on experience to work, deftly transforming the killer originals into living, breathing dub music with his most sacred of black arts.
The effect is most radical when he renders the ultra modern surfaces of Guido’s ‘Korg Back‘ or Pinch andEmika’s prescient stepper ‘2012‘, realigning the dance’s depth perception with the skill of an electro-acoustic mastermind. No less, when working with vocalists such as Dokkebi Q’s Hitomi and poet Roger Robinson in King Midas Sound’s ‘U‘ or the dread vibes of Spaceape on Kode 9’s ‘Abeng‘, he enhances their duppy potential tenfold. Perhaps most spooky of all is his version of Shackleton’s ‘Hackney Marshes‘, morphing the original’s Nyabinghi-like percussion into a subtly spiritual and psychoactive slab of riddim minimalism. However, for many the highlights will be the dreadnaught overhauls of Mala DMZ’s bassbin punishing ‘City Cycle‘, and Loefah & Sgt. Pokes‘ ‘Dog Money‘ respectively, realising many dub-fiend’s most feverish dreams in ultra-heavyweight fashion.
Hopeton Brown aka Scientist is one of Jamaica’s most revered dub engineers. His career behind the mixing desk began in the mid ’70s at King Tubby’s Dromilly Road studios in Kingston earned him the “Scientist” tag in a legendary conversation between Bunny Lee and King Tubby. By the early ’80s he was working at Tuff Gongstudios and it was during this period that he created his seminal series of albums for Greensleeves including‘Scientist Rids The World Of The Curse Of The Evil Vampires‘ and ‘Scientist Wins The World Cup‘. In the tradition ofLee “Scratch” Perry, King Tubby, and Prince Jammy, Scientist developed a distinct and unmistakable style, manipulating reverb, delay and filters to create transient sonic dimensions which places him as one of the most distinguished dub engineers alive today.
With the advent of dubstep in the early ’00s and its subsequent entry to international consciousness, Scientist’s influence has never been more pertinent. From its genesis in sweaty, bass-loaded backroom sessions of South and East London to mainstream chart status, dubstep has come to define the cutting edge of dance music while still adhering to the deeply rooted principles of bass and space laid out by the original dub auteurs. Creating an optimized, tactile experience with emphasis on physical bass weight and immersive psychoacoustics is an aesthetic clearly shared by the original Jamaican engineers and the vanguard of contemporary dubstep.
Label boss Pinch says “This project has taken over a year to put together from its conception late last summer. The final results are worth every minute of effort that’s gone into this – this is definitely my proudest moment for Tectonic to date. The influence of dub swings round full circle!”