Mad Professor is one of many undermentioned, underground groundbreakers in the art of electronic sound manipulation. In his long career, he has been involved with more than 100 albums, both those in his own extensive catalog as well as a slew of remix projects (most notably for Sade, as well as the EP No Protection, which saw him turn the already-chilled sounds of Massive Attack's beautiful Protection disc into a bare-bones collection of rhythm-rich mantras).
A disciple of dub creators Lee "Scratch" Perry and King Tubby, Mad Prof brought his love for reggae and audio experimentations from his native Guyana to England while still a teen. He rigged up his own equipment, adopted a punk-like DIY approach to mixing, and eventually saved enough money to open Ariwa, his semifamous London studio (which he named after the Nigerian word for "sound").
Nowadays, Mad Prof's street rep is grand; everything the man touches turns to aural Valium. While he has frequently dabbled in Lee Perry-style psychedelics, Mad Prof's sound is darker and more down-tempo and industrial—a kind of working-class orientation that grows naturally out of the fact that he lives in busy, urban London and not mellower Jamaica, reggae and dub's ancestral home.
Dub, for those who need to know, is reggae stripped down: emphasize the rhythm, push up the midrange sounds, and douse it in echo and reverb. The studio acrobatics involved in its creation—and especially the style Mad Prof professes—evolved into a template his fellow Brits used to create trip-hop, drum and bass, and virtually every other form of music that involves sampling.
When he appears in OC on Monday, Mad Prof will follow Bargain Music, a Long Beach crew who channel the ghost of Sublime as they mix elements of punk and hip-hop into their groove.
Mad Professor and Bargain Music perform at the House Of Blues, 1530 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 778-2583. Mon., 8 p.m. $15. 21+.
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