04/07/2019: “Internal Dub” by Prince Far-I

Prince Far-I is a towering figure in dancehall and dub. Although his gruff voice is a worthwhile listen, he’s also behind one of the greatest dub albums of all time.

Dub To Africa was released in 1979, a few years before Prince Far-I was shot to death. It’s a brilliant dub album, with unusually tight drums and bass, creating a minimal feel rather than the huge cosmic sounds of some dub music.

“Internal Dub”, unlike many of the other riddims on that album, had never been released in anyway before. It had only circulated as a dubplate, for use by soundsystems.

It’s a sublimely beautiful track, with the sharp and heavy rhythm section laying the foundation. The other elements of the song are the intermittent, subtle organ skanks and the haunting horns.

It’s those strangely beautiful horns, echoing and discordant, which give the song its unique character.

The percussion is of the 4 to the floor style, a real steppers vibe, and naturally there are more than a few moments where the dub effects kick in and build up that classic clattering dub drum pattern.