Just finished reading Michael E Veal's fantastic Dub: Soundscapes & Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae. What is so impressive is how many perspectives Veal manages to approach the subject from in such a relatively short space (338pp) i.e the social, political, aesthetic, technical, religious, historical, economic and cultural. Along the way contextualising dub in relation to the theories of, among others, Jameson, Deleuze & Barthes. Among the most interesting ideas Veal suggests are dub's fragmented narratives as a response to the collective Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder of the African diaspora and dub's privileging of space and absence providing a meditative insight into the divine. I particularly enjoyed the comparison between dub and classical Japanese music by way of wabi-sabi and Zen Buddhism. This may all make the book appear rather dry and academic and though it is certainly is both academic and scholarly in the best sense of the terms it is also clearly written by a fan and enthusiast (also in the best sense of the terms) meaning that as well as being intellectual and thorough it is always interesting and engaging. Along with the theories and histories of dub and it's influence on other genres you get the low-down on all the leading players such as King Tubby, Prince Jammy and Lee 'Scratch' Perry. My only criticism is an underplaying of the Jamaican/NYC connection. I don't feel it is an exaggeration to state that the birth of Hip Hop resulted directly from the recontextualization of the Jamaican Dub format - outdoor Sound System, DJ Toasting (Rapping) and the stripping down of records to their essential of drum and bass elements - to NYC and applied to funk as opposed to reggae by Jamaican emerge Kool DJ Herc in the late 70's. House and garage (emerging form Chicago as well as NYC) where also born of stripping down to the essentials of drum and bass of, in this case, disco records. has attributed Larry Levan, resident of the legendary Paradise Garage, of bringing the dub sensibility to disco. If you listen to the early raw house and garage 45s by the likes of Adonis (Marshall Jefferson), Raze and Phuture at 33rpm what you hear is essentially electro dub reggae - flying symbol and all. By underplaying this vital connection I feel dubs influence may have been done a slight disservice especially when there is quite a lot about such less paradigm shifting genres such as trip hop and minimal house which are really just sub genres. I would like to have seen an exploration of the liminal post-disco/proto-house period when writer/producers such as Daryl Payne and Paul Simpson started releasing dub mixes on the flip side of vocal versions - the first time this had happened outside of the reggae context. It would also have been nice to read about dub inspired projects such as Levan's NYC Peech Boys or the Padlock ep featuring a disco/funk/soul/reggae supergroup comprising Gwen Guthrie, Wally Badarou, Daryl Thompson and Sly and Robbie mixed by Levan which I feel is the greatest dub (not dub) album of all time. Anyway, this aside, Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae is along with Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner's Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music the most informative and engaging book about music I have ever read and I highly recommend that you do too if you have any interest in not only dub but hip-hop, house, d'n'b, grime, dubstep or whatever - none would exist but for dub.