These 7 dubs are rhythmically in the zone of reggae, dancehall and triphop. Nothing special, but harmonically they’re a bit unusual. Technically speaking, these tunes are made in microtonal tunings like 5-tet, 7-tet and even 9-tet. This means that you can’t play along on a regular piano or guitar because the frequencies and the harmonies are in different places, they’re actually ‘in between’ the notes on a piano. What’s the point you might ask? Well, it’s all about being bored with the stuff you’ve heard a thousand times before and also about a bit of experimentation, or like the great Daddy Screw used to say: exciting createment.
Tony Dubshot on the use of microtonal harmony in dub: “These different harmonies are like using different colors. Because in reggae the harmonies are always a bit like red, gold and green, very pure colors and basic harmonies. But if you change the harmonies in a microtonal way it might be like using terracotta red, khaki yellow and emerald green instead. It’s still red, gold and green but it’s a different mix and a different effect, like dubbing the harmonies by mixing the colors in a slightly different way. But sometimes when I feel like it I go a bit further away from reggae colors. I might end up with a purple bass or a turquoise keyboard sound.”