I’m off to a slow start this year, at least musically speaking. 2023 so far brought some welcome additions to my collection. Most of them were on my want list for a number of years, but nothing I was unfamiliar with so that it could catch me by surprise. Therefore, I spent most time researching and writing for another topic that I hopefully will be sharing next month. Right now we continue with a series in which I showcase some Dub cover art from my collection. Having dug out one of my favorite Dub albums for you today, the marvelous Kamikazi Dub.
Kamikazi Dub plays into the fascination Jamaicans had with martial arts through the 70’s and 80’s. Just like spaghetti westerns, martial arts through cinema had a tremendous impact on local culture. It had style, it had panache and Jamaicans took to it very much. Not surprisingly Prince Jammy wasn’t the only one inspired by it to release a martial arts themed Dub album. On Kamikazi Dub, this adoration for martial arts is depicted not only through the cover but also through the track titles. The album cover was designed by a London based agency called Bloomfield Travis who also designed covers for the likes of Burning Spear, Steel Pulse, Barrington Levy and many more. The cover screams 70’s cheap martial art movie poster. This style was so apparent in not hiding the fact it was done without given much thought and not keeping with the normal principles of design that it created its very own cult following that is appreciated to this day.
The school of King Tubby brought forward two of the most prominent Dub mixers of their time and both had a very different approach when it came to dub mixing. Whereas the stark and avant-garde mixes of Scientist were topped with many effects, Prince Jammy employed a more reserved approach accentuating the grandeur of the rhythm tracks themselves through the use of reverb, echo and phasing. Kamikazi Dub is a excellent example of this style and one my favourites among his work next to Harder Na Rass.
Check out the previous Dub cover art articles here.