Dub-ble take: DJ tries to revive music genre

Brooklyn Paper
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He’s bringing a dab of dub to Brooklyn!

A dub music deejay is trying to kick off a Kings County revival of the reggae sub-genre with an outdoor dance party in Prospect Lefferts Gardens on Aug. 28. The music style, which remixes songs to be heavy in bass and echo, has a large audience overseas but has not seen the same success in the United States, said the organizer of the “Dub on Fulton” party.

“All over the world there’s a lot of dub events, and it’s really more dominated in the European countries, so we’re trying to bring it back home,” said JahBami, an international dub DJ and Crown Heights native. He thinks that Brooklyn’s large Caribbean community makes the borough the perfect spot for a revival of dub, which began in Jamaica in the 1960s.

“That was the whole idea — to bring it closer to the roots,” he said.

“Dub on Fulton” will turn a small Fulton Street lot, which usually hosts a weekend flea market, into a community celebration for old-school lovers of reggae music, with dub music from DJs, local clothing and music vendors, and food. The organizers will use the event to test out the local reception to dub.

“It’s a thing where artists can come sell their merchandise, meet and greet and get to know the dub community,” said JahBami. “For now we just want to reach the mass that we can reach.”

A sub-genre of dub, dubbed “dubstep” and popularized by big-name DJs including Diplo and Skrillex, has taken off among electronic dance music fans. Dubstep’s popularity in Brooklyn prompted the organizers of “Dub of Fulton” to remind those fans of dub’s origin.

“With all the gentrification that’s going on in Brooklyn, it’s really the right time to have all those flavors that everybody else is privileged to — to share with Brooklyn and the new Brooklyn,” said JahBami. “It’s still a culture that came from us — the Caribbean.”

But the event is more that a history lesson — guests should show their appreciation of the music with more than head-bopping, said JahBami.

“If you want to dance all night like crazy, this is the spot to be,” he said. “This is not a spot where you’re going to stand around and look cute – because dub culture is not about that.”

“Dub on Fulton” at 1181 Fulton St. between Spencer Place and Franklin Avenue in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Aug. 28, 4 pm–midnight. $15.

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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