Week 23: 50 Albums That Changed Music [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums

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Swish
12-18-2006, 09:34 AM
The selection this week is one that I've never heard and probably won't seek out based on the description of the music and the artists that it supposedly influenced. Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown (1976)

Jamaica's invention of dub - a stripped-down, echo- laden instrumental remix of a vocal track - was spawned principally on the B-sides of local reggae hits and in the island's competing sound-systems, with technician-engineer King Tubby as its master creator, a man who could 'play' the mixing console. This collection of etherial melodies by melodica maestro Augustus Pablo distilled the art into album form. It would be years before the West caught up. Without this...no DJ remixes, no house, no rave.

Gee, I don't know how I could live without DJ remixes, house, and rave "music". Spare me. That doesn't mean it wasn't influential (are you listening J?), it's just that I won't ever put this stuff on equal footing with true musicians and song-writers. It's a monstrosity dammit!

Swish

nobody
12-18-2006, 09:59 AM
Another that shows an english leaning as the DJ culture and subsequent music forms have been much less visable in the US.

I'd also add that dub music and the subsequent toasters talking over the dubs were a precurser and heavy influence on the development of rap music as well. So, we can point here for something that helped kick start a whole mess of music lots of folks can't stand.

Personally, I'm thankful for the development of rap and am so-so on the DJ stuff. But, really, just for its influence on the emergence of dub music itself, I'm more than happy to have this album on the list regardless on influence on the larger sphere of music. Enabling dub to pick up steam and thrive as an album length art form is more than enough to make a case for this album, which is indeed excellent.

3-LockBox
12-18-2006, 10:31 AM
I got nothin

Troy
12-18-2006, 01:02 PM
ZZZzzzZZZzzz . . .

Dusty Chalk
12-19-2006, 01:03 PM
I got nothinDitters.

bobsticks
12-19-2006, 01:10 PM
Let us speak as men do. Let us recognize that real music incorporates pitch and timbre, and dynamics and, dare I say, some level of compositional integrity. This is another red herring foisted upon the world by some little Starbuck's-permeated hipster-wannabe.

Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I own scads of old-school rap (T,Cube,PE, Suger Hill Gang,etc.). I've got Orbit and Moby. Hell, I've got almost the entire Wax Trax! catalogue. So I'm not some old codger sitting around with a pipe, but let's get real.

Change music? I'm dubious. I'm not even convinced that this changed "mood music" :ciappa:

bobsticks
12-19-2006, 01:11 PM
NIce 1000th post, Swish-baby! :ihih:

BradH
12-19-2006, 02:08 PM
This is another red herring foisted upon the world by some little Starbuck's-permeated hipster-wannabe.

That wasn't the audience in Jamaice. That wasn't the audience in Brooklyn.


Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I own scads of old-school rap

So, let's see. The dj's in Brooklyn combined Jamaican dub w/ krautrock, it's not music and you listen to it.

Sounds awfully avant-garde to me.

God forbid...

bobsticks
12-19-2006, 02:38 PM
There's a big difference between the "fun factor" of ear candy or the sonic happenings of a social scene and true artistic endeavor.

BradH
12-19-2006, 03:31 PM
There's a big difference between the "fun factor" of ear candy or the sonic happenings of a social scene and true artistic endeavor.

Not when the Beatles did it.

Why is hip-hop not a true artistic endeavor?

audiobill
12-19-2006, 04:48 PM
Never heard of it, but I'm always willing to give a "New-to-Me" listen.

Thanks Swish for the thread.

Man -- you've stuck with this thread throught tick and tin.

I'm finding that the higher the # on your list -- the more intriguing the read/listen.

Cheers,

Bill

SlumpBuster
12-19-2006, 06:56 PM
Yeah, this might sound dumb, especially in light of the signature I've got below, but this record ain't that influential. Even I find it a bit too droning. Yeah I've got an old bootleg cassette of this that I copied in college. I still listen to it, especially while cleaning the house. :D

But doesn't, or at least shouldn't, the definition of "influential" include having crossed the Atlantic ocean? This record may be influential in Britain, but not in the States. Try telling the kids that rocked the basement house parties circa 1979 in the Five Burroughs that there would be no DJ culture without dub. That's just dumb.

bobsticks
12-20-2006, 08:33 AM
Not when the Beatles did it.

Why is hip-hop not a true artistic endeavor?


Well, when the Beatles did it they started from nothing and worked toward a creative vision using musical instruments. I don't recall the Beatles using sampled loops of anyone elses compositions, but I'm not that familiar with all their work. Further, I don't really view rock/pop music as they apex of artistic expression either.

While certainly less original than krautrock, I suppose there is some artistry in modern hip-hop--if one considers a breadth of knowledge of other people's work, the skill to manipulate that into something conforming to legal standards, and the ability to intertwine it with the requisite themes of mysogeny and victimization artistry. I fail to see how a computer programmer composing three minute ditties can be compared with concentrated efforts by masters in the realms of jazz and classical. Nor do I feel the need to do any "multi-culturalism" handholding so everyone can feel good about their chosen form of expression.

"Valid" is a binary state, so if I admit that even one work is acceptable then I concede the point of the potential validity of the "art form". I do concede as there is some good stuff. Most, not so much. But, valid is a far cry from "good" and not mutually exclusive to "influential". Farther still is it from "higher art".

To make an analogy, hip-hop is the rice cakes of music. Yes, rice cakes can be filling and can even taste good with the proper accoutrements, but in the end they are largely empty calories. A diet of nothing but rice cakes would be devoid of any real nutrition and the body and mind would quickly turn to mush. Good for a snack but no substitute for three squares to be sure. Certainly not haute cuisine.

By now, Brad, you and I are way off topic--debating entire genres. Let it suffice to say I think it a blow to the already tenuous credibility of the list that this is in the "Top 50 Influential Albums of All-Time".

bobsticks
12-20-2006, 08:35 AM
By the way, thanks for using the term avant-garde...most just say "Full of sh!t "...

BradH
12-20-2006, 01:43 PM
By now, Brad, you and I are way off topic--debating entire genres.

Well, then what is the topic? In your first post you said the Guardian's pick didn't influence music because this album wasn't "real music" and, by implication, neither were "T,Cube,PE, Suger Hill Gang,etc" even though they're in your collection. That's a helluva lot more sweeping than debating the Guardian's confusion over whether dub or dj culture came first.

SlumpBuster
12-20-2006, 02:43 PM
So I'm not some old codger sitting around with a pipe, but let's get real.


Really? Because...


I suppose there is some artistry in modern hip-hop--if one considers a breadth of knowledge of other people's work, the skill to manipulate that into something conforming to legal standards, and the ability to intertwine it with the requisite themes of mysogeny and victimization artistry. I fail to see how a computer programmer composing three minute ditties can be compared with concentrated efforts by masters in the realms of jazz and classical.

codger is as codger does.

And a statement like "requisite themes of mysogeny and victimization artistry" makes me doubt that you have "scads" of rap record, but rather suggests a gross misunderstanding of hiphop. It's like suggesting that all metal is about Satan, or all country is about cheating dogs, or all jazz is masturbatory noodling, or all opera is about vikings.

I will admit that hip-hop is a crazy frustrating genre. It's a hot and cold, hit and miss genre. They need to outlaw skits and guest appearances by everyone's cousin. But, if you fail to see the artistry in Sugar Hill Gang's "Rappers Delight", or Paul's Boutique's "Sounds of Science" or Chamillionaire's "Ridin' Dirty," then no one is ever going to convince you otherwise. Whether its high art or low art is irrelevant if the audience is not even looking.

Troy
12-20-2006, 04:16 PM
And a statement like "requisite themes of mysogeny and victimization artistry" makes me doubt that you have "scads" of rap records.

Because he used the word "scads?"

nobody
12-21-2006, 08:36 AM
I'll toss out a few comments on a couple of the many topics brought up on this one...

The "rap's not music" thing is ridiculous on a board that's primarily rock based and in regard to a list that is basically rock/pop based. The arguments are no different than those who said rock was not music because it wasn't jazz or jazz was not music because it wasn't classical. You just define music by describing your favorite type and make a circular argument that anything not your favorite is not music. It's an easy ploy that's been used forever. But, címon the bottom line is people listen to it for pleasure, dance to it, drink to it, etcÖ It serves the same function that music always has in our culture. Itís music. If you donít like it, fine. But, your personally not liking something does not mean it was music. If you want high art...go listen to a symphony. But, taking part in this thread and on this board pretty much says that for everyone except Pat D., you're not taking the high art road anyway.

OhÖand method of construction does not speak to the quality of the finished product in my opinion. But, this is an old process vs. product artistic argument. Personally, especially as time erodes the nature of creation and you are left with the product in the end, I feel you have to judge what has been created, not the method of creation. And, while the Beatles may not have used samples, they used enough studio trickery that they reached a point where they couldnít even play their music live anymore. At that point are they creating music or are they just playing hi-fi tricks? An argument could be made either way, but Iíll stick with music for the same reason I just laid out.

As to how can it be influential if it didn't cross the Atlantic? If did. Jamaica to UK...a little thing called the Atlantic's in there ya know. Now, if the argument is that to be influential it has to be big in the US...that's a bit ethnocentric for my tastes. Besides, most of the albums mentioned in this or any other list are mostly influential within their genre. So, the judgment then becomes how influential to Jamaican dub was this record and considering until it was put out, you mostly had B-sides and singles and no full albums of dub, you'd have to say it was hugely influential. That dub then went on to influence a whole spectrum of other genres only adds to the record's significance.

SlumpBuster
12-21-2006, 08:41 AM
As to how can it be influential if it didn't cross the Atlantic? If did. Jamaica to UK...a little thing called the Atlantic's in there ya know. Now, if the argument is that to be influential it has to be big in the US...that's a bit ethnocentric for my tastes.

Touche.

nobody
12-21-2006, 09:16 AM
Oh...and those kids rockin' the house parties were well aware of Jamaican DJ culture. DJ Kool Herc, the original godfather of hip hop, was Jamaican.

-Jar-
12-21-2006, 09:42 AM
I suppose I, being one of the boards biggest fan's of dub should chime in here. I have this cd, among about 20 to 30 other dub classics, and in my preference, it probably would not rank in the top 5. It's decent, for sure, and it was influential, sure. But there were others that followed who took the idea of dub to higher levels, in my opinion. KING TUBBY's is a fun record, no doubt. It has scads of Jamaican charm and spirit. But a mind-blowing dub freakout, it isn't, especially compared to records that came later by Lee Perry, Scientist, Aswad, Sly & Robbie, and the whole On-U-Sound gang, Dub Syndicate, Creation Rebel and Adrian Sherwood.

But to add one other item...

One band that has not been mentioned in this discussion (unless I missed it), is the Clash. LONDON CALLING tops almost every list of influential and great rock records. Just about all their records are considered classic. Without Jamaican Reggae and Dub, there WOULD HAVE BEEN NO LONDON CALLING (at least, not in the form that we know it, I'm sure it would have been a lot less interesting).


So, in my view, this record belongs on that list, as it represents ALL great dub records, and well, to me, dub is at least 1/50th of the story of modern rock music, if for nothing more than it's influence on The Clash (and other punk bands from Bad Brains to Stiff Little Fingers), as well as electronica, techno, hip-hop, trip-hop, jungle, IDM and other musics that millions of people all over the world enjoy today..

There.

-jar

nobody
12-21-2006, 10:02 AM
I tend to agree with you that dub records evolved into something grander. But, sometimes one of the old style ones just sounds right to me...althogh I'll usually grab King Tubby over Agustus Pablo myself.

And my favorite Clash dub influenced stuff is side 2 of the 10" version of Black Market Clash...which was partially gutted from Super Black Market Clash, which is why the latter sucks.

bobsticks
12-21-2006, 10:11 AM
...than the previous nine post affair. "Influential", as it turns out, is as hard to qualify as it is to quantify, but in the end almost any argument about art is going to be tainted by one side's inference that their premise should be understood intuitiuvely or compelled by common sense. My own thinking is that unless one considers sales there is very little but opinion, claims of the artist, and perceptions of technical similarities and a timeline. If one does consider sales it becomes an issue of four Elvis songs, six Beattles tunes, and 40 Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls and Madonna songs.

nobody's first response was committed but lukewarm and with three of the six other main contributors to this series of threads initially taking a pass prospects looked dim. For the record, if the count sat at sixteen, my next step was to quote Easy E and argue that all heavy metal was, indeed, the work of Satan. You'll have to forgive my indulgence, but you are sprechen to a guy who once sat in a bar during "The Big Dance" and argued for over an hour that basketball isn't a sport because it doesn't involve expensive equipment.Its just my nature.So with a tip of my horned viking hat....


Cheers to y'all

-Jar-
12-21-2006, 12:23 PM
I tend to agree with you that dub records evolved into something grander. But, sometimes one of the old style ones just sounds right to me...althogh I'll usually grab King Tubby over Agustus Pablo myself.

And my favorite Clash dub influenced stuff is side 2 of the 10" version of Black Market Clash...which was partially gutted from Super Black Market Clash, which is why the latter sucks.

yes.. I was thrilled when SUPER BLACK MARKET CLASH came out, then I was pissed when I got it home and realized the versions were different...

so I went on eBay and found a copy of the original 10" - had to have my Robber Dub.

-jar

BradH
12-21-2006, 02:31 PM
Oh…and method of construction does not speak to the quality of the finished product in my opinion. But, this is an old process vs. product artistic argument.

It's like the early days of photography when the cognescenti said it wasn't art because the photographers weren't creating anything, merely photographing what was already there.


And, while the Beatles may not have used samples, they used enough studio trickery that they reached a point where they couldn’t even play their music live anymore.

The decision to make studio songs that couldn't be easily reproduced live came after the decision to stop touring, they didn't necessarily overproduce themselves off the stage. Although, the close harmonies in 1966 were hard to handle with the screaming girls and no stage monitors in those days. They knew at that point that any more touring was pointless and decided to explore the full possiblities of the studio. People who want to denigrate the Beatles or Brian Wilson use terms like "studio trickery" or "gimmickry" rather than "innovation". In a similar manner, people who want to denigrate hip-hop or rap decry sampling without listening closely to how it's being used. I would argue that, in the right hands, it's being used as innovatively as any "found objects" by The Beatles ("I Am The Walrus") or Eno & Byrne's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. Yeah, there are plenty of "rice cakes" to go around in hip-hop, same as any genre. But my earlier comment about avant-garde wasn't tossed off as a joke. Kraftwerk's Trans-Europe Express had made it's mark in Brooklyn long before Afrika Bambaataa rapped over Kraftwerk in 1983.

Bottom line: It's bullsh!t to say an album like the Tribe's Midnight Marauders isn't music. It's about as good as anything I've heard and it really cracks me up when I hear the "not music" accusation coming from those who think of themselves as "progressive".