King Tubby's dub art began to flower on remixes for producer Bunny Lee. The engineer treated hundreds of Lee productions between 1973-1975, establishing dub as a independent style in reggae music in the process. While protégés and future dub stars Prince Jammy and Scientist would eventually remix some of the Lee dub tracks under Tubby's name, the sides on Roots of Dub are all done by Tubby himself. As the title implies, one hears the beginnings of his original dub style: a soundscape made up more by spare yet innovative deconstructions of the original sides than by the many added sound effects heard on future mixes. And while a handful of Tubby discs suffer from second-rate material, this collection stands out with some of the choicest of Lee's rhythm tracks. No small credit for this quality goes to Lee's amazing early reggae house band, the Aggrovators, which featured bassist Robbie Shakepeare, drummer Carlton "Santa" Davis, and guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith, among others. A fine introduction to this artist's catalog. For fans seeking a more representative collection of Tubby and Lee productions, check out Trojan's King Tubby's Special 1973-1976; for those interested in later material, there's the incredible Dub Gone 2 Crazy collection on Blood & Fire.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook