Dub Legend 'Mad Professor' to play in Vancouver
Dub legend the Mad Professor plays the Commodore on the 26th of this month. Check him out. At 55 years old he's an old timer but he's still touring and putting out records. Here are some research notes:
The imaginative recordings produced by Mad Professor (born Neil Fraser 1955, Georgetown in Guyana) demonstrate a mastery of electronic gadgetry. Working from his own studios, Mad Professor has overseen more than two hundred albums including ground-breaking remixes for Massive Attack, Sade, and Pato Banton.
Born in Guyana, Fraser earned the Mad Professor tag from his childhood fascination with electronics. At the age of nine or ten he built a radio from scratch. Moving to London at the age of thirteen, Mad Professor continued to experiment with electronics. He bought a semi-professional reel-to-reel tape-recorder in 1975, but was unable to record in sync. This prompted him to purchase more and more equipment. By the following year, he had begun experimenting with dubbing.
Mad Professor has worked with a huge number of reggae artists both from the UK and Jamaica. These include Jah Shaka, Pato Banton, Johnny Clarke, Lee Perry and Horace Andy. His musical styles have included roots reggae, dub, and lovers rock. Mad Professor is perhaps best known for his dub albums, which include 12 installments of the Dub Me Crazy series and 5 albums under the Black Liberation Dub banner. The Ariwa website lists collaborations with The Orb, The KLF, UB40, Jamiroquai, The Beastie Boys and Rancid. He continues to release records and perform live all over the world.
Mad Professor is a well known collaborator with Lee Perry also of dub fame:
The two are from different generations and continents, yet both Professor and Perry walk the same twisted line. Both are passionate for electronics (Professor built his own mixing board as a teenager while Perry pushed four track recorders beyond comprehension), both built their own record company from the ground up (Ariwa / Black Ark), and both have produced music for a surprising range of artists including Massive Attack, U-Roy and the Orb (Professor) to The Skatalites, The Clash and the Beastie Boys (Perry).
But personality and style distinguish their unique talent. Mad Professor, a.k.a. Neil Fraser, is modest and straightforward, while Perry is one of the most slippery, beguiling characters in modern music. His outlandish character and studio trickery has long been rife with myth and titillating humor, but Perry's contributions to reggae, hip-hop and popular music are without question.
Here are some sample tracks: