Monday, March 5, 2012

//VID: Mad Professor- What's Going On (Live)

Many of you have probably heard his name through Massive Attack's 'Protection' in which he dubbed the whole album and labelled it 'No Protection'. Little know that in the Dub underground, the Mad Professor is an icon- their own Burial- one of the last of his kind. Now I know that a large percentage of you will actually know what Dub is but for those who associate the term with the re-recording of dialogue in a video piece or the subgenre 'Dubstep', Dub is not those things. Dub is pretty much the essence of remixing. It is taking what has already been recorded and using electronic devices to simply select and bring out parts that the DJ wishes to explore. I might not explain it well but I'll let the Mad Professor Demonstrate:


Now that you have watched the video. Let's break it down and review the practicality and philosophy for a minute:
When we think of remixes nowadays, we usually think of sounds taken out of their original context and put in another (plus alien sounds). This is the equivalent to quoting a piece of writing or rearranging the text to form something that says something different. This is not what Mad Professor has done here. He has stayed closer to the context than Marvin Gaye and the band supplying him with the sounds by eliminating parts of the tracks' narrative such as parts of the drums, the guitar, the strings and even the vocals. He then took it upon himself to loud-en the snare sound hanging around the mid-frequencies and give it some reverb, crank the volume on the kicks, add echo on certain parts of the vocals and flow between tracks in order to give each beautiful moment its own time. Also notice how, through most of the run, he keeps the bass loud and steady as it is the heart of what makes sound so mesmorising- the sonic blast of low frequencies that the mind can't help but love and be sedated by. This is the equivalent to filtering the text into keywords or simply highlighting the most important parts.

The Mad Professor wasn't trying to show off his skills by placing his mark on an established track but use them in order to remind us of why we fell in-love with these soundtracks to begin with. This is the practice of zen at its finest.