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Interview: Scientist

Interview: Scientist

Interview: Scientist

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Scientist (Born Hopeton Brown, 1960, Kingston Jamaica) is one of the founding fathers of dub and the elevation of reggae studio engineering to an art form. He apprenticed under King Tubby and has been releasing dub albums from 1981 until the present day. Angus Taylor spoke to him in California for this unusually candid and controversial interview.

Scientist - 2008 - Sideways (c)

What have you been up to lately?

Right now I been mostly caught up in my electronics, designing electronic gear. I been working with a whole bunch of different people on some hip hop projects, but right now been investing most of my time in my line of electronics. If you look on you’ll see some of the stuff I’ve been designing.

Tell us about your website - I set it up kinda like a myspace for reggae, trying to get all the people who are doing dub and reggae to sign up and create profiles on it. There are a lot of music sites out there so I thought one devoted to dub and reggae would be really good. Of course I support other different genres of music like hip hop and jazz too. I had it since the birth of the dot com from back in 95. Back then everybody was trying to get a dot com and I was looking for a way to let people know about reggae. Finally I get together with some programmers and decide to create this online community for dub and reggae.

You have been very outspoken about royalties recently. Tell us about this issue.

Yeah there is an ongoing issue where you have a bunch of companies like Greensleeves, Trojan, Blood and Fire, they’re basically breaking the law. They’re breaking the law of the UK, they’re breaking the law of Jamaica, and they’re breaking the law of what’s been signed in the Rome Convention, where the record company has to do due dividends to make sure that the producer who solicits the product to the record company has the sole permission of the artist to exploit the tracks. In other words if you brought your Mercedes Benz to me and you tell me that you want to sell me your Mercedes Benz, you have to show me that you own it. I can’t just go buy it on a word of mouth. You have to show me some documents, titles, bank statements, something to validate that you own it. And Greensleeves Records been pirating my stuff from the very first time. I’ve been asking through a series of bunch of different conversations to stop exploiting my stuff and they basically do not have the rights – or at least my right – to put out any of my stuff because they need a contract. And basically what’s happened here with this whole Junjo Lawes situation is Greensleeves is trying to steal everybody’s copyright. Because you know it’s too coincidental and it’s highly convenient for Greensleeves to say they own the product when the producer is dead – which is Junjo. And in order for Junjo to own the product, Junjo first have to have a contract with the artist, and the artist first have to sign away all their copyright to Junjo and then Junjo can sign it away to whoever they want. There is no such document trail.

When did you first realise what you allege was happening?

I have a lot of relatives who live in London. I have relatives in London going all the way back from 1940. When I first started my career in Jamaica, they were the ones who started telling about all these records that were coming out in my name – Scientist Versus Prince Jammy, Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Vampires – they were the ones who first alerted me to this. When I contacted Greensleeves they tried to tell me that they had the permission from Junjo. I tried to explain to them I didn’t give Junjo the permission. And this thing went on for a lot of time now, and they’ve been exploiting a lot of artists, every artist, over 30 albums that are on their label that Junjo produced, they’re exploiting the tracks. They don’t have any permission from any of those artists. Furthermore, they don’t even have an implied license, there’s no paper trail to say that they’ve been paying any of these artists any money. And this has been an ongoing thing: If you talk to Jimmy Cliff, if Peter Tosh was here, if Bob Marley was here, they’d all tell you the same thing. These record companies been ripping them off for years. And they get away with it because of Jamaica and the ompany’s in the UK. Now as you know if you want to sue somebody in London you have to have the money to put up a court case and put up a court cost. And if you can’t put up a court cost it’s extremely hard getting a barrister or a solicitor in London to represent you when you live in Jamaica. And they all take care to exploit this fact.

You went to court in 2005 about the use of your works in the game Grand Theft Auto 3. Are you able to comment?

Yes. I went to San Diego to do a show, went to a supermarket to pick up some food. Some kid recognised me and said he’d been playing this game that had my songs on it, this game called Grand Theft Auto, didn’t really know the kid was talking about. So I did some research, for sure, found the game. So I contacted Greensleeves and said you don’t have my permission, or any of the artists permission to use these tracks, you needed our permission. “Oh I don’t know what video game… what video game you talking about?” and they pretended for a long while that they didn’t know. When I emailed them a copy of the game they went “oh yeah, yeah we remember it, we have licensed it”. But hey you don’t have my permission. Where is the document that granted permission? On my behalf? On the behalf of the producer and the artists? You have to show it to us. You have to show it to me at least. Where is the document? “I don’t have to show you the document… you are not an artist… you’re just an engineer…” What the hell you talking about Chris Sedgwick? You can’t say I’m not an artist. I been selling these records for a while now and you do not have permission and I have the right to know about any deal you sign. “Oh we don’t have to talk to you… go get a lawyer…” So I go away and get a lawyer. Then they have to turn over to us all the documents. But when the Grand Theft Auto decide to pay me off out of court, when they ask Greensleeves to show them a contract with me – that’s required by law – they couldn’t do it. The contract that Greensleeves submitted into evidence you could clearly see where they forged Junjo’s signature. Nobody can write their name exactly the same way twice. You can’t write your name the same way two seconds later. So they have a contract with Junjo signed in – when? – 1985? And right before he died where Junjo supposedly signed over all the copyright to them, when you take a copy of the two signatures, you make a photographic negative, and put it over the top, it matches line for line. All the dirt that was on paper from 1980 when Junjo first sign – it’s on the new paper so it’s clearly a forgery. And furthermore, Junjo could not sign away all these artists rights. When you talk to Freddie McGregor, Michigan and Smiley, all of them. They’ll all tell you the same thing – they never signed any contract, any copyright, any publishing away to Junjo so that Junjo can take it and sign it away. And please, please to ask Greensleeves just to show that paper trail like if I own a Mercedes Benz and I sell it to buyer number one and buyer number one sells it and it ends up with 50 different buyers, you can always trace the paperwork say what car lot it came from, what care dealer, who was the first buyer, all the way to the junkyard. And then to make it worse, was happened was, when we got into court, GTA paid me off out of court. Greensleeves indemnified GTA saying if there’s been an illegal bill an expense that they would pay back. And this went on for three years with big park avenue attorneys. And Greensleeves rack up a big bill. I can’t talk about how much money they paid me, I can’t talk about that side, but they had this paper called Legal Expenses, which caused them to have to sell their company to this company named Zest. While we were in court I told Greensleeves I’m going to start suing them again elsewhere round the world. I told them that right on the bench. And so I fired off another couple of lawsuit, and found out that there is a British law, that has up to three years against anybody bringing in a kind of liabilities claim against a new company. So when Zest found out themselves were the subject of this lawsuit, them just get up and get out the game! Zest contacted me and told me that they are worse than Greensleeves, and they’re not playing and we not getting anything so they just planned to rip off everybody. So when Zest saw the lawsuits coming – Japan, wherever they sell it, Germany, France, wherever they sell it I’m gonna sue them. I made this clear to them in court.

So you’re not going to give up then?

No. Because we have several different lawsuits pending. Not stopping. Wherever they sell it I can sue them and anybody who sells it.

I spoke to Winston McAnuff the other day. He said he and Max Romeo won their court case but couldn’t collect all the money they were owed.

Yes but what I been hearing is that’s not actually – er what you call it – er how I should say this… the people who has the money, they’re trying to make their own rule and say you cannot go back five or ten years or something that’s not true. The way I hear it is they owe the money so they have to give it so even the people that hold the money are trying to play some scheme. But again, that’s in evidence. Max Romeo and the people you just mentioned, all of us are going through the exact same thing with these record companies. Every one of us. Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff. Jimmy Cliff just got his first royalty cheque for the Harder They Come! And they been doing it and they been doing it and when he look he sees all these different compilations, all this different licensing and they not one time contract the artist – no. Here’s what’s important. When Greensleeves was selling the company to VP they released on paper that, not their top executive, one of their lowest member, was making seventy-five to a hundred thousand dollars a year. In the meantime, not one of Greensleeves artists is making five thousand dollars a year. Somebody who works in the office is making over seventy thousand dollars a year. That means that’s the artists’ money that they’re putting in to their pocket. I charge Chris Sedgwick and Chris Cracknel are doing this. I caught them with their hands in the cookie jar!

Burning Spear says this on his new album "our royalties feeding their families".

YES!!! It’s true, it’s true, it’s true. All of us is not lying. Don’t tell me that Winston Rodney, Burning Spear, he doesn’t have anything better to do at what 60? 65 now? He just going to get up and talk.

Do you think file sharing and piracy are causing record companies to behave as you allege or has it always been thus?

It’s providing them with more of an excuse. Here where the dangers are with filesharing. It provides them with more of an excuse. Again, even with the Greensleeves situation, every time they have to go to the manufacturer they have to get their license. One of the thing we caught Greensleeves with is – where are their manufacturing receipts? You claim that the record’s not selling, but when we trace where the record’s manufactured, you keep pressing ten and fifteen and twenty thousand. Why are you pressing so much of a product that’s not selling? So now that evidence is basically erased because you can’t track where they manufacturing. So now a whole bunch of them like Blood & Fire can just close the door, pretend like the business bankrupt. But when I catch Blood & Fire I find them licensing all kind of music to all these people that they don’t have any permission. Blood & Fire have a couple of records like one of the ones they have with King Tubbys – I mixed those tracks. It was not King Tubbys mixed those tracks. I confronted them and if you go back and look at the interview, a person would ask me “how did you develop a gong sound?” and I tell them how I create that sound. When you go back and listen to the record you’ll find that sound was never on record before. And that’s the same record they are saying that King Tubbys mixed. So when I pointed it out to them I said hey, you asked me in the interview earlier, how did I create the sound? And the sound never exist during King Tubbys time. And yet you release a record with the same exact sound saying Tubbys mixed it and Tubbys didn’t mix it. So what they doing, all the tracks that I mixed they been putting King Tubby’s name on it. Why? Because they know that I will sue them. What they don’t know, I am the executor of King Tubbys estate. I can bring suit against anybody who puts out any King Tubbys product. Like for example, with Greensleeves record King Tubbys & The Radics – King Tubbys never mixed one record with the Radics. So they are trying to find a way around me and releasing all my mixes and people think King Tubby did it. Like Scientist Versus Prince Jammy – Jammys never mixed one track on that record. Jammys do not have my experience. What live concert Jammys ever mixed with twenty thirty thousand people? The only place Jammys ever worked is round at King Tubbys at that little piece of hell hole he set up round there. He doesn’t have my experience. Not even Osbourne Ruddock has my experience. The only place that Osbourne Ruddock worked was round at that fourtrack place that he had. Osbourne Ruddock and King Jammys does not have the type of experience I have, working on different type of consoles.

Tubby is traditionally viewed as the king of dub, whereas mainstream music history has tried to paint the late 70s early 80s era of reggae as pride before the fall. But as time has gone on the generation who grew up with your music are getting to give their version of reggae history.

Yes. I went through a period in Jamaica where every body was jealous of me. Where a lot of stuff I was doing people tried to take credit for it. And now that I’m not in Jamaica, this is what’s happening to Jamaican music, you know this. I’m not there any more, Kling Tubbys is not around, and dub doesn’t exist in Jamaica any more. Anybody who go back and trace the history or my discography can see this. That’s what Greensleeves or anybody cannot change. You go back and look, and basically Tubby’s period ended 1981 when I start working there. He had no interest to go inside and mix for anybody. I was like shocked. I couldn’t believe why Tubbys don’t want to mix! This thing looks exciting. I see people begging him. And the only person he would mix for was Carlton Patterson where he came out with that Mikey Dread thing. That’s the only person. Nobody could get him in there to mix. He basically handed me the keys, put me in charge of running the studio. He had no interest. His interest is where my head is at now. The only thing he was interested in back on those times was finishing the studios and his electronics. And tracing back by discography, what you see now, right after Tubbys death is all these records that they been putting the wrong names on. King Tubbys & Skatalites. King Tubbys never mixed one song with the Skatalites! That’s just people making up these titles. King Tubbys at Channel One? King Tubbys never set one foot in Channel One! And to strengthen my point, any song mixed at King Tubbys have a distinctive sound that cannot be mistaken. Two distinctive sounds: the High Pass filter, and his Reverb Unit. If you back and listen to all those sound that King Tubbys is supposed to have mixed, like Channel One, Channel One have a very distinctive reverb sound. You can go back and say, "that’s the Channel One reverb not a King Tubbys reverb!"

The Highpass Filter is instantly recognisable. But quite a few dub obsessives will be off doing their reverb homework now.

And that’s not the only thing. Let me give you a couple of starting points. Natty Dreadlocks In Greenwich Farm. A Dance In Greenwich Farm. Cornell Campbell, Horace Andy stuff. Even coming right down to Jacob Miller 1981. When you go back and look at the discography. Up until that point, King Tubby and The Aggravators that’s what they were all saying. Pretty much end there. 1980-81. But suddenly after ’95 you start seeing all these other records! And go back, ask anybody, any historian to show them a copy of that record that King Tubbys mixed. And what you find is it didn’t have King Tubbys credit on it. So this is one of the grey areas that Blood & Fire and Greensleeves, they are the ones who originally pioneered this. It started from Blood & Fire, then Greensleeves catched on to it. King Tubbys never mixed one song with the Roots Radics. And furthermore, if King Tubbys mixed the album with the Roots Radics, where is the permission from King Tubbys? Now King Tubbys is dead. They can’t get a consent from a dead man. So they are putting out an illegal release, based on the Rome Convention, the UK law, and the Jamaican law.

You started in radio repairs. Which has been more important to your music – your creative or technical side?

Both. But the technical side gave me a transparency and that’s what gave me the edge over these other engineers. That’s what put me and Tubbys on the top.

Dub is traditionally thought of as non-vocal but you are very vocal…

You want to know how come I didn’t start singing? Because I didn’t want to scare everybody away!!!! (LAUGHS) I’m not a singer! But let me tell you something, when I was growing up in Kingston, I was getting ready to go on the wrong side of the fence. I was hanging out with all the guys that would probably put me in jail or got me killed. As a teenager growing up I didn’t know any better. I was smoking cigarettes, drinking beers, and I was on the wrong side of the street. The first time I started smoking… they call it marijuana… Pot… that was a different vision of life. I had no interest to go out and hang around or anything like that. And I started getting attracted to music. So that has been one of the bigger inspirations.

It’s been said many times that Tubby didn’t smoke. And Mikey Dread once said in an interview that most engineers didn’t smoke on the job. Did you ever smoke while mixing?

Yep! All those albums you been listening to where I was mixing I been smoking marijuana. That’s crap. That’s one of the things where I get pissed off. You have all these people come, they do an interview, some of them can barely understand your patois, they misunderstand what you say and they go write this nonsense from Bob Marley til right now. And now in America, any hip hop studio or any hip hop session running, they’re all inside there smoking pot. Pot, right, is not a gateway drug. It’s a plant. Look at what happens? O J Simpson trial – this might be a little bit off the subject – the guy who invented DNA is one of the world’s biggest pot smoker. They refused to use his testimony because it was discovered quote unquote “he’s a pot smoker!” But they’re using the technology that the man developed! When you come here to Los Angeles here, some of the most respectable people society look up to – they all smoke marijuana. Some of the most creative people – Bob Marley! (LAUGHS) You know it is not a drug. I am a master electronic engineer. I am smoking a joint. Do I sound disoriented to you? Right! It’s not a gateway drug. I never did anything else.

The real gateway drug is beer.

Yes! Alcohol! Cigarettes! That’s what turned me on to marijuana – alcohol and cigarettes. (LAUGHS)

How does politics affect your music?

I think music is affecting the politics. And politics is affecting the music. This is what – Jamaica as everybody know was a slave country. And every country that you can think of, including the great United States Of America, was colonised by Britain. One little tiny place. You could drop it in California a hundred times and keep going. But that place conquered the whole world. Out of that you had these oppressed people that did basically the same thing that America did – which was to fight for their freedom. So rather than fighting the type of war that America fought to get its freedom, reggae fought it musically. And reggae has been the same – as with Bob Marley – it has been constantly talking about the system, how everybody being ripped off by the system. And this is the thing that caused people of different colours – or one of the things – that can cause people of different colours to come to one place – all congregate – and have a good time. For example Reggae On The River - or Reggae Rising as it’s now called. Twenty five thousand and more every year. And they all get together different people of different colours – they all smoke pot – and they all get along and all go home. Two weeks later a big beer drinking festival and what happens? All kinda DUI arrests. All kinda fights. All kinda bad things happen. So reggae been doing that. What you find is all of the small islands around the world, in Mexico, all the remote places, reggae is their music. And here’s what – this is a FACT. Without reggae you could not develop the type of hi fidelity that’s in music today. If you go back in time, when you listen to Rolling Stones and The Beatles that have unlimited money to go make whatever record they want, it sounds paper thin! It sounds like they in somebody’s bathroom, the drums sound all clink clink clonk! No bass to it. When you run those music through the spectrum analyser you see that it’s only picking up a tiny portion of the audio spectrum. Audio is from twenty to twenty thousand cycles. So the bandwidth in all those music is very narrow. Reggae has very wide bandwidth from the lowest to the highest. The way they make rock music you can’t take this and test these speakers. You cannot. So without reggae you would not have the type of speaker boxes you see them bringing in these concerts. Without reggae you wouldn’t have hip hop. Without reggae you wouldn’t have all these different type of music. But a lot of people here especially in the U.S. they don’t want to give reggae that credit. As a result you find that when any of these hip hop or rock engineers get reggae to mix it’s like they gone back to kindergarten – they can’t handle it!

You can hear instantly when someone’s not doing reggae properly.

Yes! You can clearly hear it. But for some reason – especially in America – they don’t want give credit to reggae. They try to hide it. Reggae is the hardest music to engineer and if you can do reggae everything else is lightweight, everything else is easier. Whether if you’re a musician or you’re an engineer, when you learn how to play reggae, when you go back to play your rock or your classical it’s going to become a piece of cake.

What do you think of modern mastering techniques? They seem to be getting louder and the dynamic ranger is getting lower.

This is what happens in the record industry. Most of the A&R people is like the blind leading the blind. They don’t really know anything for themselves so the only thing they can rely on is "well so and so made the music and this guy mastered it so it they must all go and sound that way". This is what is mastering: back when you had vinyl you’d need a little mastering skill. When you were making a little 45 that had a lot of bass you’d need to adjust the grooves so when the bass reach it the grooves don’t overlap and cause the record to skip. You needed the skill. In this digital age, the people who do mastering are basically ripping off the people. Here’s why. When somebody start to master a record you don’t have a separated track. You’re working from a stereo track. The only thing you can do to it is add a little bass, take off bass, put some highs, take off mids… you can’t just go and pick an individual instrument and change it. But this whole thing about mastering, especially in the digital age, that when a song is properly mixed you’re not supposed to do anything like that to it. No compression! They all swear by the bible of compression. I never used a compressor. The only thing a compressor do is constantly turning down the track. The only thing I used compressors on is vocals. No compressor on bass. It doesn’t make the bass get any more solid. It doesn’t make the bass get any more fat. All that stuff we was doing at Channel One and that stuff there – there is no compression running anywhere.

But now many reggae reissues are mastered in the way you just described.

That’s because record company guys are compared to me and Tubbys just peanut brains. What the hell do they know about recording to make that decision? If you notice even the records coming from Jamaica. I can go and pull up some records, I can go right down into the vault. Especially that stuff like what Jammys put that he mixed with Half Pint that’s a good reference point. That’s when I was just starting to get that sound right at Channel One. Even Jamaica can’t produce that sound anymore. I was the one who created that sound there. But everybody was trying to take credit for it. Now that I leave you will notice that that kind of fidelity is not coming out. So what I want companies like Greensleeves to do is do all the mastering that they think is right then we can go back to those original records and we can have a comparison. And what I can bet them is that the original record that they have is mastered properly without all these bullshit techniques that don’t work sounds better.

Which do you consider your greatest work?

(LAUGHS) Ah! Damn that’s kind of hard. It’s like having ten kids. Which one of them is the best?

My favourite is Dub Landing. Tell me a bit about how this record came to be?

That’s the next pirate record. All those records, those people doesn’t have any permission. Linval Thompson doesn’t have any permission to put out my stuff. What’s been going on is Linval Thompson is the next one who’s been going around pirating people’s stuff. They don’t have any permission. You bought a pirated record. Even on the original vinyl it’s a pirated record. Doesn’t have the contract based on the law, they all need permission. It’s just a matter of time before I find them and serve them. Like we’re getting ready to go back to court again with Greensleeves. If you heard in the recording, Greensleeves paid Jammys to come to court to tell a lie. And then Jammys got caught on tape talking about how he told a lie and so what?

You have worked with so many artists – who was your favourite collaboration?

You know what? Back in that time nobody was really paying any attention. It was just session after session after session. So I can’t really answer, after a while that doesn’t really exist in your mind.

Extraterrestrial life features strongly in your work. How do aliens figure in your philosophy?

Well you think we’d just be here alone out there in this universe? When you used to watch Star Trek back in the 1970s when it just came out before we have this stuff like cell phones. Back then it just looked like a joke but now it’s a reality. There’s been so much evidence here that the U.S. government has been covering up about these things. It’s not just we alone in this universe. You’d be stupid to believe that. Anybody who believes we are alone in the universe is out of touch with reality. I personally believe we are all programmed. Whether they want to believe or not we are programmed. You are programmed to do what you do, I am programmed to do what I do. Now, who pull those strings? Who control those strings? You think it’s a man really invented the Hubble telescope? He has been programmed to do it. Everything you can think of came from out of the earth and something has to put it in your brains. You think you just get up one day and be this man who does such? These things existed. We’re just discovering them. We discover these things as we go through life. This is not what you really created. You discover that you could create electricity this way. And once man figured out you could create electricity then came all sorts of other things. Then you have the lightbulb and you have these different branches that people discovered. It is not really a man who create these things. So my philosophies are definitely the belief that earth is controlled by other elements and it’s not really ready to reveal itself yet.

Do you embrace all new technology?

All new technology so long as it is not destructive. Technology is a good thing. Look at what going on now. They need to operate on somebody and rather than cutting a big five inch hole, now they can cut a hole less than a inch and go inside and use robots and cut the person with precision. We don’t have to worry if the doctor gonna get nervous and slice the person. So of course, technology. The more we evolve in life is the more that we’re going to find that a human is just like a computer. So basically we should understand computers so you see that it is basically an extension of your mind and of your brains. So, yes, this new technology is good. Do you think men should go back and be living in caves? (LAUGHS)

Why did you choose to go to America?

Well again, it goes back to what was going on when I was working at the Channel One studio. Everybody was fighting. First the Channel One owners was fighting that it was their studio and why it sound like that? They started to fool the client by leaving out all the outboard gear that Channel One would only use for Channel One sessions so the new sound being perceived from the special mics and the special equipment being left out was why the studio sounded like that. What the clients then learned is when other engineers used the same equipment they didn’t get what I get. They couldn’t produce that sound. So everybody was fighting then. Then after I left King Tubbys I didn’t want to work with Juno and certain people because they had been exploiting my tracks. And if you remember that album Scientist Versus Prince Jammy – sorry – I mean Scientist Versus Pacman. Next time when you look at that album, when you turn over the cover, what you’re gonna see is a man dressed in a robe. Remember King Jammys is ballhead right? That you see there is actually Jammys making a plot because he was very jealous. And I got tipped off by the people who was working at Channel One that he wanted to do me harm. That motivated me to leave Channel One because I could see these people only wanted to come and work at night time and I been tipped off by kids who live in the ghetto. The mistake that they make is they come to an ex hood. And when you’re respected in the hood nobody can just come around there and just do any thing like that. And when they think that I would leave with them at night time I would just sleep around there. So whatever plan they had didn’t get carried out. Then I left and go to Tuff Gong and after I went to work at Tuff Gong Channel One closed because they couldn’t reproduce that sound any more. They closed. And everybody who never worked at Tuff Gong, overnight they start working at Tuff Gong. Then I start getting all these threats from the Channel One sound, how I took their sound, how I took their customers and carried it to Tuff Gong. What sound? I said to Jojo and his crew? Suddenly you are all engineers? What sound did I take? That is part of my brains! I have to take them with me everywhere I go. So next time when you pick up Scientist Versus Pacman you’ll see the guy there who pointed to all my album jackets – that’s Jammys right there with his plot and we learned about it.

How has it changed since you arrived in 1985?

Oh my god. It was one of the worst. Everybody got more jealous because I been living in this country. I now can see all the people who pirated my stuff. And I can drag Greensleeves and others into court. So a lot of people try to spread rumours about how I blow up people’s speakers, I blow up studios and all this. And the only thing that ever happened to any studio that I ever been into is they sounded better than they ever sounded, even in Hollywood here. Don’t care if it’s Madonna, The Rolling Stones, when I work in the same studio they work into, they cannot produce the type of sound that I can produce in any genre. Whether it is rock music or hip hop I can produce a better sound than them. A lot of people them just started a whole bunch of crap. Especially Greensleeves.

You were Tubby’s apprentice? Who is your successor?

Right now to be honest if you go back and listen to the quality of work, the torch would have to get passed to somebody who can keep up that quality of work. And to be honest, as I mentioned before, you don’t even hear dub music come from Jamaica. Dub come from everywhere else in the world BUT Jamaica. So who am I going to give it to? And then who’s doing it when you go back and compare the records they’re not really up to par. Because this is what the truth is – If I or King Tubbys don’t show or reveal certain things about dub – Lee Scratch Perry, Mad Professor, nobody else don’t know – they won’t know. If I don’t show anybody I am the only living person right now who can show somebody how to do a high pass filter to make the same thing. I know how to build one. I am the only person right now on earth who has that knowledge. Jammys he can’t build a high pass filter to do that. On the video Sideways sent you – that’s a hip hop track with the same kind of high pass filter built and only I can do it. So I am on the only person in the world right now who has that knowledge.

Is there anything else you’d like to say before we finish?

Yes. I’m getting ready to go back to court again. Have you visited You will hear where Jammys has a gunman call me and made threats talking about when he comes to America both I and Jah Life is gonna be dead if we don’t stop these lawsuits. We have Jammys on tape saying he lied in court, right? If you talk to Wailing Souls, anybody, the only person away from Osbourne Ruddock King Tubbys who had a key to 18 Dromilly Avenue was I. If Jammys wanted to go inside that studio he had first to get my permission and when I tell him to leave he had to leave. He was never my boss. We’re getting ready to go back to court and the truth always find a way of coming out. VP know that they’re buying stolen property so now VP bought the law suit. They bought Greensleeves company so now they bought all the liabilities. And more than any body else Chris knows that Greensleeves does not own the product. Furthermore Greensleeves didn’t even try to settle the estate. The producer’s dead so the law require them to settle the estate.

Do you have a message for Scientist fans?

Well keep listening people, keep listening. I’m in the process of making a documentary to unleash some of the secrets of dub. Keep listening and one day I’m gonna pass on some of this knowledge to you.


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Read comments (18)

Posted by Empress Menen Pioneer Sound on 01.29.2010
I Shall Be Listening My Lord,
I Also Hope I would Be One Of Those Who Could Learn
Some Knowledge of The Real Secrets Of Dub.
One Perfect Love. Monique Osbourne aka Lionness

Posted by deadhoarse on 02.06.2010
re: For example Reggae On The River - or Reggae Rising as it's now called. ...
Ahem. Reggae on the River is NOT Reggae Rising.

Posted by Rootical Dubber® on 04.14.2010
14th April 2010.
Hi Angus Taylor, Nice reporting, Can you kindly pass on the information to (Scientist) Mr. Brown regarding if he may require a Publisher / Administrator Publisher regarding his works if so we can assist in claiming royalty back.
Kind Regards,
Peter Boreland Rootical Dubber
Rootical Dubber Enterprise Music Publisher

Posted by Master on 05.04.2010
I need to know from which Scientist album do one find the song happy hour.

Posted by sushiman on 05.31.2010
Fab interview. A shame how Scientist got screwed by Greensleeves and others. I buy all MP3s directly from Scientist at

Posted by Jah Steppa on 08.30.2010
A shame that we have to keep hearing of how much reggae is being ripped off, after 40 and more years??
Justice must prevail, dont give up the fight.
I am so glad to have read this interview, and even more happy to know Scientist will be taking the pirates to face the judge!!
You mus haffe get your due pay, for all those great, great musical works, still unrivalled up to this day in terms of sonic architecture and musical creativity....Straight To Greensleeve Head style!!!
Straight To Blood and Fire Head!!

Posted by JBo on 11.19.2010
"King Tubbys never mixed one song with the Roots Radics"?? That is a revelation and hard to believe, it's a shame Mr. Taylor didn't ask more about this (good interview, otherwise). I thought Blood & Fire actually did try to make sure they were paying some royalties to the right artists, another shameful realization.

I hope a Scientist doc will shed light on these things with the right proof to back it up.

Posted by El Tipo on 11.25.2010
Great information here. Many Thanks

Posted by hugo makepeace on 11.26.2010
Wow! I give thanks for these revelations, as I have seen and know the experience of other people taking the credit and all the cash for tings dat 1 inspire...and rewriting the script!!! it revive confidence in the fact that truth will out eventually... with or without a good lawyer!!!... it a pity still, that it take so much expensive law suit to extract the rightful dividends!
Nuff respects to the i Scientist !!! I trust the i time has come at last... hoping to catch a show while u still dehbout in uk... and even arrange some more...???!
Jah bless, guide and protect the i til such time...

Posted by nicko on 12.13.2010
Great to see an interview with the Man Genius that is the one and only Scientist. Pity it concerned more about how he and other Reggae artists being ripped of. They should not need to be going to court to fight record companies to get there money. It good that Scientist has been able to fight them with the law. I thought Greensleves was a decent record co and the artists did get there money but obviously not same as Blood and Fire. They sound like they stand for the artist and artist get his pay but know this is not right, so big up to Scientist, may Jah help and bless him in the struggle.

Posted by steve power on 12.15.2010
Real article about time some a the vampire them in a the business get expouse to the light"it go so". Jah bless.

Posted by lenroy brown on 02.21.2011
Wow, what a revelation! I was just saying to my family last night that of all of the early Island records (uk) covering the ska and rock steady period, the only ones that showed the composer and publishing credits were those that charted in englands pop charts. Someone sure made money out of ska, rocksteady and reggae - it doesn't seem to be the people that originally made the music.

Posted by Mighty M on 04.15.2011
Really really good interview revealing some unknown info (for me)!
Now even more respect to the Scientist !

Posted by treacle on 05.07.2011
Wow.. what a fantastic interview Angus. Someone should make a TV documentary about this NOW and follow him through the court proceedings...good luck to The Scientist and much respect.

Posted by Scientist is the Vampire. on 06.22.2012
Scientist has been getting paid royalties on records that bear his name from Greensleeves since they came out in the early 80's. He has always cashed their checks and never complained till Junjo died so that he could try to capitalize on the Junjo not being there to call him a liar. maybe all you fanboys should check for the thread on the forum where people Scientist ripped off for dubs he never delivered voice their complaints.

Posted by Eddie Codger on 11.07.2012
So how come 'Scientist' lost his only court case ? Fact is, he was the apprentice at Tubby's, after Tubby and Jammy. So what is the great man doing these days - oh yeah, nothing.......

Posted by DJ Meex on 10.28.2015
Great interview, great man!
Shame on the blood sucking producers!Gwaan Scientist, gwaan!!

Posted by Anonymus on 01.05.2017
Hipass filter things Quote " I m the only person who have this knowledge !!!
Now there is a lot of people who use Hipass , and a man called Westfinga have this knowledge too ...check the page, he recreate the filter of King!!

Comments actually desactivated due to too much spams

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