The Dub Treatment; when it hits, you feel no pain...
Music itself, much like the players of it, is a combination of sounds and frequencies that must work together in order to achieve their purpose. One particular artist that I feel strongly represents her purpose in music is Jah9, a conscious wordsmith and songstress hailing out of Kingston, Jamaica, who has been releasing music for almost ten years. Having started off in the studio with one primary producer, 9 now tours the world with her unforgettable live band the Dub Treatment, who represent the central essence of her soothing, healing, melodic sound.
One of my favourite parts of a Jah9 set is when the instrumentalists get given their spotlight. With much music these days it seems that bands never get as much attention as the artist they’re backing, although with the Jah9 & the Dub Treatment, it’s impossible to separate the two. Anyone who’s been lucky enough to experience the Dub Treatment live will know of the bubbling bass lines, the captivating beat of the drum, the subtle strum of the guitar and the heavy, conscious, steady vibration of the dub. The Dub Treatment are an incredibly tight band, always on point, that will captivate and hold you there in the rhythm for the longest time, meditating and simply absorbing, rising steadily with the beat rather than necessary feeling the need to shout and jump around.
Tell us about your band; the Dub Treatment?
9: The Dub Treatment is an idea. It is taking the music that you hear recorded and making it organic using the elements of dub. Dub is kind of post-production, so dub means that my engineer is like an additional member of the band, being very sensitive to the words and how to accentuate certain elements.
Jah9 live & in the spirit, backed by the aquatic Dub Treatment.
9: The musicians have changed over the years. This current dispensation of the Dub Treatment is really one of my favourite. We are a family. We are brothers and sister. It’s really a joy to get to experience them because this particular band allows you to really have an organic experience of expressing, so, yes, you know how the song goes, but you always get an opportunity; it’s like you play the song differently every night, and you really are fed by the energies of the audience or the space that you're in.
Jah9 & the Dub Treatment live in London, November 2018, at venue Subterania.
9: Dub is a freeform expression and we integrate that as much as possible into the vibration. That is why it is the Dub Treatment; because music is medicine and we’re trying to bring it forward that way.
The current Dub Treatment dispensation features Jah David of Zion I Kings on bass, Jonathan Rankine Dred on drums, Ras Jahnoy ‘Jellis’ Ellis on guitar, Ras Pau Dangla Valls on the keys and engineer Daniel Singer on dubbing duty.
(From left) Bass player Jah David of Zion I Kings, engineer Daniel Singer, keyboardist Ras Pau Dangla Valls, guitarist Ras Jahnoy 'Jellis' Ellis, Empress Jah9, manager Samo and drummer Jonathan Rankine Dred.
Having experienced the Dub Treatment live multiple times, including having been lucky enough to take in some of their more intimate sessions at the Yoga on Dub retreat, I can definitely appreciate the liquid-like vibration of the music to the highest of heights, and as Empress Jah9 herself states, every show with the Dub Treatment will be different. You’ll have to get down to their next event to get your very own dose of the Dub Treatment.
Catching up with bassie Jah David of Zion I Kings at BoomTown Fair, Winchester, UK, 2017.
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