Dub Syndicate marries deep and heavy reggae beats with heavy dubs, re-mixed vocals, and a progressive, spacey-psychedelic sound. Over the course of twenty five years, the ingenious duo of Lincoln Valentine Scott aka Style Scott (former drummer with the Roots Radics and Creation Rebel) and Adrian Sherwood, have worked with everyone in the reggae and dub world to create the best music of its kind. Whether they’re jamming on a upbeat, summery-sweet reggae-rooted track or giving us one of their trademark mellow, melodic, instrumentals, this group showcases the absolute best in dub.
Established in the late 1970s, Dub Syndicate initially evolved out of preceding On-U group Creation Rebel. Though not a group in the traditional sense of the word, Scott and Sherwood combined the sounds of reggae, dub, and dance by collaborating with some of the genre’s (and On-U Sound’s) most historic talents, such as Lee “Scratch” Perry and Skip McDonald. The 1982 debut album, Pounding System, led to years of successful collaborations.
The band had a classic dub sound until the third album, Tunes From The Missing Channel (1985), where Dub Syndicate gave birth to a highly experimental, more technological, dub sound. This perhaps reached its epitome on the early-90s classics Stoned Immaculate and Echomania, two of the most loved albums in the On-U catalogue.
In 1996, Dub Syndicate released Ital Breakfast, an album bursting with new material, and a remix album Research & Development, that revisited their old catalogue. Four years later, they released the performance album Live at the Maritime Hall. After several more releases, Dub Syndicate returned in 2005 with Pure Thrill Seekers, a collection that includes guest shots from Luciano, Cornell Campbell, and Gregory Isaacs.
What worked for them on their albums goes ten-fold when they performed live, attracting fans of reggae and beyond. To try and replicate the live experience is difficult, but their 1991 album Live at the Town & Country Club, April 1991 is just about as close as you can get.
Tragically, on 9 October 2014 Style Scott was senselessly murdered in his home in Jamaica. An irreplaceable and unique musical talent is gone, but his music will live on forever.