DUB TECHNO Techno's mechanistic iciness MEETS DUBBIN' WARMTH
It’s evident that techno is rooted a migration narrative. Techno was the result of German experimentation that Americans imported. Then, Americans exported techno to Germany, selling ice to Eskimos, essentially before Germany started selling techno back to the Americans. Dub Techno takes the migratory pattern & suffuses it with studio processes inherited from Jamaica. It is a subgenre of techno music that combines the style with elements of Dub music, including its production techniques & cultural influence. The music heavily employs delay and reverb effects, often for the purpose of creating a “space” or atmosphere. This is often most noticeable in what people call “dub chords,” a common feature of dub techno tracks that consists of (typically minor) chords that seem to echo around the listener’s head. Dub techno is largely concerned with the “space” which sound occupies, and on texture.
The early reggae dub scene in the late 60’s, was led by pioneers like King Tubby or Lee Scratch Perry, where the artists predominantly remixed and manipulated old recordings, removed the vocal parts and added echo, reverb or delays to get a more intensified bass experience. A few decades later in the early 90’s, a Berlin-based duo called Basic Channel consisting of Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, who are often credited for the invention of the dub techno genre, started to take their own approach in minimal techno, which was becoming quite popular and accessible to a mainstream audience at that time, and combined their raw and minimal sound with dubbed, spaced out elements and delays. Other pioneers include Deepchord (Rod Modell) and Echospace (Rod Modell and Steven Hitchell), originating from Chicago and Detroit. The music is as an aural wallpaper, is placid, unquestioning & deeply soothing, when it’s meant to soothe you of course! It’s worth noting that “dub techno” can be a contentious term – many of the top artists in this genre prefer the term “deep techno” or refuse to give any sort of genre labeling to their music whatsoever.
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