Who has the most dubs? Who has the most valued dubs? These are two questions recently asked on SOUNDCHAT RADIO which received a lot of mixed opinions. The conversation was centered around four legendary sound teams (Saxon Studio, Down Beat, Jaro, and King Addies), all are known for their countless contributions to the sound clash culture. To come to the most accurate conclusion, we must erase all bias and judge each team based on what they have offered.
Who has the most dubs? "THE MOST" must be defined by the quantity of dubs each sound has recorded. This is not about the quality of dubs, i.e., combinations, dead artists, live artists, etc. or which sound owner had the most money, it's based strictly on the number of dubs. Some say that Jaro leads in this category because they always owned their own dub plate studio, granting them access to many artists through out their legacy. Others say King Addies because during the 90's, they voiced an obscene amount of dub plate material. Fans from England argue that Saxon was also armed with an extensive catalogue during the 90's. And let's not forget Downbeat the Ruler, who is considered a dub "collector."
Who has the most valued dubs? This is where things get tricky because everyone's definition of a VALUED dub tends to be different. Some say dead artists are most valuable because they can never be voiced again. Some feel that dub plates from living artists during their prime are most valued (i.e., a bounty killer today does not sound like a bounty 10 years ago). Finally, younger clash fans highly rate sounds with dubs from today's top artists. On the other side, selector/sound owner's may rank their most valued dubs by how hard they had to work for it, favorite artists or cost. Some will go as far as using their personal experiences to determine the worth of their dub box. No matter how you look at it, one can not say that any of these ways of defining value are wrong.
In an effort to lessen the confusion that this question often causes, here is the perfect analogy. If someone was to open a business called "DUBS FOR CASH" where sound owners could exchange their dubs for money, which one of these four sound systems would walk away with the most cash? King Addies had some very strong dubs, which have become a staple in the clash arena. Kilamanjaro also boasted an extensive amount of dubs, which have defined and identified their team over the decades. Saxon has been the pinnacle of dub plate culture in England, a country which once lead the sound system culture outside of Jamaica. Down Beat’s collection is a threat to any top sound because he has really strong Studio One dubs. So, who do you think would walk away with the most cash?