Herman Chin Loy – Musicism Dub

by Aug 3, 2023Artist, Reviews

Herman Chin Loy - Musicism Dub

Release Info

Label Pressure Sounds
Format DBL LP / DR
Street date July 28, 2023
Contact Website Record Label


Disc 1

Side 1
1. Armagideon War Dub
2. The Greatest Love Dub
3. Baby Come On Dub
4. Why Do You Idle Dub

Side 2
1. She’s Gone Dub
2. Feeling Is Right Dub
3. Don’t Fight The Man Dub
4. Troubled World Dub

Disc 2

Side 3
1. It’s Alright Dub
2. No Malice Me Chalice Dub
3. Song Of My Mother Dub
4. Them A Fight Dub

Side 4
1. Secret Admirer Dub
2. I Love You So Dub
3. Nobody Wants To Die Dub
4. You’ll Never Know Dub

The Producer

By 1973, Herman Chin Loy had established himself as a record producer, working with artists such as Dennis Brown and Alton Ellis. The Chinese-Jamaican producer was particularly known for producing unique and innovative instrumental tracks, which included Augustus Pablo’s early releases. One of his most notable works was the 1971 album Aquarius Dub, which is considered a classic in the genre. Mixed by either Carlton Lee or Herman Chin Loy himself at Dynamics, it was one of the initial dub releases to hit the street in Kingston. This album also featured early versions of Augustus Pablo’s iconic tracks, East Of The River Nile and Cassava Piece. The release of Aquarius Dub led to a sequel, Aquarius Dub part 2, which was released the following year.

Obscure Releases

Herman Chin Loy then took a brief hiatus to focus on building his own 24-track studio, which was primarily used for recording genres other than reggae. In 1979, he returned to reggae productions and started to collaborate with several artists such as George Nooks, Linval Thompson, and Ernest Wilson, creating local hits in the early dancehall style. Tunes by the aforementioned artists, along with tracks featuring General Plough, Johnny Clarke, Phillip Fraser, Icho Candy, Sugar Minott, and Robert Ffrench, were compiled on two LP albums. These rare albums were released in limited quantities in the early 1980s. In 1983, they were followed by two untitled dub albums, which were similarly obscure releases and also had limited distribution. Only a few copies were sent to London and the US, while the rest were exclusively sold at the Aquarius record shop in Kingston. Both, the vocal and dub albums, were released under the label Musicism, owned by Chin Loy, and were packaged in the generic 12″ sleeves of TK Disco, an American record label that had closed down. Chin Loy acquired these sleeves while traveling to Miami. The release of these dub albums a few years after dub had declined in popularity as an album form in Jamaica is quite remarkable. Nevertheless, this certainly doesn’t imply that they lacked quality or merit.


Finding the vocal cuts of their dub counterparts can be quite challenging, particularly if the dubs do not include vocal snippets in the mix. Thankfully, in this case, it wasn’t a mission impossible to find the vocal versions of the dubs. The dub version of General Plough’s Armagideon War gets Musicism Dub started with a powerful impact. When Armagideon War Dub leaps from the speakers, the bass and drums strike with such an immense force that it makes the walls vibrate. A killer dub that goes on repeat! Also The Greatest Love Dub, which is the dub version of George Nooks’ Greatest Love, exhibits the same vigorous style as the preceding track. However, it incorporates a captivating horn arrangement that effectively balances up the prominent bass and drums. This dub, along with Linval Thompson’s Baby Come On Dub, is one of the well known riddims included on this set, in addition to others that are more obscure. Side 1 comes to an end with a dub version of the musical backdrop behind Ernest Wilson’s beautiful vocal piece Why Do You Idle. Throughout the dub, the music is occasionally minimalistic with just the bass and drums coming to the fore. After having listened to the four dub works on the first side of this release, expectations soar even higher and they are undeniably met. The other three sides of this double LP contain several excellent tracks that are worth noting. These definitely include the dubs to Linval Thompson’s Don’t Fight The Man and Troubled World, Them A Fight Dub, the dub to Icho Candy’s magnificent Them A Fight, and the dubbed out version These definitely include the dubs to Linval Thompson’s Don’t Fight The Man and Troubled World, Them A Fight Dub, the dub to Icho Candy’s magnificent Them A Fight, and the dubbed out version of Sugar Minott’s It’s Alright on a relick of Studio One’s Heptones Gonna Fight riddim.

Musicism Dub is another indispensable release from Pressure Sounds, one of the best reissue labels around. The double LP comes with full sleeve notes by Diggory Kenrick plus rare photos from the Aquarius studio and record shop. Hopefully, the folks at Pressure Sounds are going to reissue the vocal sets too.

(Note: The digital download version of the album, available on Pressure Sounds bandcamp, contains two bonus tracks: Inna The Dance Version and the awesome East Of Kabul.)


Where to get it