Music Education

Dub: The Genre That Built Goth

I’ve touched on the history of goth music on this platform before.

Considering the sheer volume of goth and goth-adjacent bands I cover on here, I think it’s safe to say that I’m fairly goth-focused. However, I’m far from an expert. When it comes to anything I’m passionate about, I consider myself perpetually learning and perpetually growing.

I’ve been long-familiar with the influence of punk music on the development of the goth subculture. Post-punk exists a staple of goth music (and my top genre of 2023).

Photo by blocks on Unsplash

What I wasn’t aware of, however, was the influence of black culture on early goth music. Once goth began to branch out from its deathrock roots, artists drew from numerous inspirations.

Among them, and arguably among the most important to the scene, was a genre I wasn’t even aware of until I started my research. This genre was not only important, but quite literally spearheaded the production of one of the most iconic goth songs of all time.

What is Dub?

Dub emerged from the reggae scene in the late ’60s and early ’70s. In its earliest iterations, dub tracks were simply instrumental versions of reggae songs.

According to an article by MasterClass, artists would strip a track — usually of the reggae, ska and rocksteady genres — of its leading vocals and highlight bass and drums, occasionally mixing in their own sound effects.

The “first” dub track was created in 1968 when the engineer for Treasure Isle studio accidentally pressed a copy of “On the Beach” by the Paragons without the accompanying vocal track. The mistake was a hit among Jamaican DJs, who improvisationally rapped (a practice called toasting) over the instrumentals.

Cover for “On the Beach” by The Paragons

Jamaican audio engineer Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock, roused by the track’s unexpected success, took to his mixing desk to experiment. Ruddock’s influence was instrumental in the growth of dub’s popularity and its spread overseas.

None of this would have been possible if not for the advent of multitrack recording, which allowed artists to strip down tracks in the first place. Other technological advancements in the recording industry would later prove instrumental in the development of the genre.

Cover of “Escape to the Asylum of Dub” by Mad Professor

In the 1980s, a dub scene emerged in the United Kingdom with artists such as Mad Professor, Scientist, Jah Shaka, Adrian Sherwood, UB40 and Mikey Dread, who inspired acts like the Clash and the Police.

This influence can be seen among tracks like “Police & Thieves” and “So Lonely.”

During this time, electronic elements also made their way into the scene, leading to subgenres like dubstep and dub techno. Contemporary dub is considered an electronic genre as a result, often played in clubs and dance halls.

What’s that got to do with goth music?

The list of genres influenced by dub is multitudinous, featuring rock, post-punk, pop, hip-hop, house, techno, edm and many others.

If you’ve made it this far, you might be thinking: oh, dub influenced the goth scene through its relationship to post-punk. And while you wouldn’t be wrong, there’s an even more overt example of dub’s impact on the goth scene.

Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” the debut single of Bauhaus, is widely considered to be the first gothic rock record. Released on Aug. 6, 1979, the 9-minute track served as a tongue-in-cheek tribute to the late Bela Lugosi, star of the 1931 film “Dracula.”

Cover for “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus

According to bassist David J in a 2018 interview with, dub and reggae were major influences in the song’s production.

“I mean, basically Bela was our interpretation of dub,” J said.

The sprawling instrumental beats and deep, preternatural bass of the song’s first half certainly echo dub’s style.

“It’s all very intuited,” frontman Peter Murphy said in a 2019 interview with Kerrang! magazine. “Very dub.”

Additional Reading

For some more info on reggae, check out “Chef’s Quick Bite of Reggae.”

For some additional reading on dub, check out “The Roots of Dub” by Kirt Degiorgio.

Concert Preview New Album Review

DBB 20: Saphron’s Album “Ecce Homo”

Welcome all ye listeners to the weird and strange and the normal and the everything else under the umbrella of all music. There’s this little thing WKNC does every year to raise money. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe not. WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit is in its twentieth year of existence and there are many amazing bands and artists coming out to King’s on February 16th and 17th to help us raise money to keep doing what we’re doing (all things music).

This year’s Friday headliner, Saphron, is the main objective of this article. While I don’t have much info about the members of the band, I’ve been sinking further and further into the depths of their sounds. 

Saphron is an emo punk band from the wondrous city of Raleigh, NC (we love a good ol’ local band). The members include Zoe Hardee (Composition, Production, Vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer), Ian Waddill (Production, Arrangement, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals) and Ari Moore (Sound Engineering, Arrangement, Drums, Backing Vocals). All of these credits are for their most recently released album, “Ecce Homo”, which was given unto us on October 14, 2022.

Saphron’s sounds swirl in my head. The moving lyrics and lead vocals of Zoe Hardee jolt me and console me all at once. Little whispers telling me to feel something explode into screaming fits. This band’s unique noises continue to pop in my ears at the most random times of day. Saphron tends to the fields of addicting noise that I can’t quit. 

Ecce Homo

I, as per usual in my album reviews, will stick to highlighting my favorite tracks on this release. Please excuse my abundant adoration of Saphron’s sounds. They’re quite bewitching to me, and I still can’t figure out why.

Pity Stunts

Bass beats and drum thumps echo through the empty rooms in my head. This track fills silence better than any conversation. It’s a cry for love and why we have to give everything we can to smother that feeling. I keep trying to figure out what music scenes I belong to. This song reminds me no one cares, just dance.


This song is my favorite on the album. I keep going into the addictiveness of this music. I can’t stop alluding to it. How does a band do this to my head? What else am I supposed to say to get you all to listen to this? There’s probably some weird formulation of words that make everyone’s head scream at them to listen to a writer, but I don’t have those words at my disposal. Just listen to the song. 

Perfect Love

Both this song and the previous perfectly blend all the band’s talents to create a smoky atmosphere of beauty and pain. There are more explosions off in the distance as the world burns. How am I supposed to care when there’s only my floating consciousness trying to exist when this song plays?


With a synth opening that’s about as addictive as any sweet candy, this song is the reason I can’t stop returning to Saphron’s music. Hardee’s intoxicating vocals are like a stab to the gut. You don’t really want to be hurt, but the pain is freeing in some odd f***** up way. 

Conclusions of a Sort:

I can’t sum up a band. There’s never any real expectation to, but I feel like it helps people who skim articles or even myself come to a final conclusion about sounds produced in the world. Saphron’s music doesn’t need a summary because it’s here in the world to stay and exist in the moments we want to listen. “Ecce Homo” is a great first full length release for this band (obviously an understatement from my point of view) and as this band continues to age, experience life through music and create more heavenly sounds, I will be here listening to anything they can give us. 

Saphron will be headlining WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit on Friday, February 16th. Be there to support this band but also the other wondrous local musicians offering their talents to our ears.

Concert Review

Mitski- The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We Tour

By: Ellie Feaga

The fall of 2023 was a time of tremendous regrowth in Mitski’s life and career. For over a decade, Mitski has had a significant “cult following” for her emotionally raw ballads with a signature, genreless sound. Her defining 2018 album, “Be the Cowboy, gained more mainstream success in the alternative scene, with hit singles “Washing Machine Heart” and “Nobody.” But this past fall, her new lead single “My Love Mine All Mine” brought an entirely new audience to her music. Thus, seats to see her spring 2024 tour filled up extremely quickly with fans both new and old.

Mitski is joined by Belgian-Egyptian artist Tamino, whose unique style proved to be an excellent complement to hers. Tamino performed completely solo, accompanying each of his own songs with a guitar or mandolin. The quality of his voice can only be described as ethereal, and upon comparison, identical recorded and live. Among all of the opening acts I have seen blindly (without previously knowing the artist), this was likely the most powerful one I have ever experienced. Undoubtedly, I would like to see him perform as a headliner in the future.

Weekly Charts

Top Charts 2/20/24

Top Charts

1GOTTS STREET PARKOn The InsideBlue Flowers/PIAS
2YUNGATITAShoelace & A KnotSelf-Released
3BUTCHER BROWNSolar MusicConcord Jazz/Concord
4SPRINTSLetter To SelfCity Slang
5TEENS IN TROUBLE“Playlist” [Single]Asian Man
6AESOP ROCKIntegrated Tech SolutionsRhymesayers
7ARLO PARKSMy Soft Machine (Deluxe)Transgressive/PIAS
8BLACK MILKEverybody Good?Mass Appeal
9CHERRY GLAZERRI Don’t Want You AnymoreSecretly Canadian/Secretly Group
11OFFICE DOGSpielNew West/Flying Nun
12PARIS TEXASMid AirParis Texas/The Orchard
13RATBOYSThe WindowTopshelf
14SEAFOOD SAMAfros In The Wind [EP]drink sum wtr
15SLEATER-KINNEYLittle RopeLoma Vista/Concord
16YEULEsoftscarsNinja Tune
17ALEX G“Runner” [Single]Domino
18ATMOSPHERESo Many Other Realities Exist SimultaneouslyRhymesayers
19CASTLE CHAMPParenting lolSelf-Released
20CITIZENCalling The DogsRun For Cover
21DARKSOFTGrayscaleSpirit Goth
23DEATH’S DYNAMIC SHROUDAfter Angel100% Electronica
24EDO. GWe Do GoodRed Line
25FROST CHILDRENHearth RoomTrue Panther
26GABRIEL TEODROSFrom The Ashes Of Our HomesSelf-Released
27GLASS BEACHPlastic DeathRun For Cover
29H31RHeadSpaceBig Dada
30THANKS FOR COMINGWhat Is My Capacity To Love? [EP]Danger Collective

Top Adds

1OMNISouvenirSub Pop
3VAMPIRE WEEKEND“Capricorn” [Single]Columbia/Sony
4VAMPIRE WEEKEND“Gen-X Cops” [Single]Columbia/Sony
5LIME GARDENOne More ThingSo Young
6SERVICESTemporary Time & PlaceSelf-Released
7WARPAINT“Common Blue” [Single]Rough Trade
8HANA VU“Care” [Single]Ghostly International
9LIQUID MIKEPaul Bunyan’s SlingshotSelf-Released
10BOLIS PUPUL“Ma Tau Wai Road” [Single]DEEWEE/Because
Weekly Charts

Underground Charts 2/20/24

Underground Charts

1TOUSSAINT MORRISONThe Very Best Of Ricky & JaneUrban Home Companion
2CZARFACECzartificial IntelligenceSilver Age/Virgin
3H31RHeadSpaceBig Dada
4STALLONE AND WEATHERSThe Cost Of Doing BusinessSelf-Released
5DANNY BROWNQuarantaWarp
6ATMOSPHERETalk Talk [EP]Rhymesayers
7MIRANDA JOANOverstimulatedSelf-Released
8ARLO PARKSMy Soft Machine (Deluxe)Transgressive/PIAS
9PARADIMEPeriodmello group

Underground Adds

2RITCHIE“RiTchie Valens” [Single]AWAL
3CHIMA ANYA“Everything” [Single]Self-Released
4THE ART MUZEUMSlice of LifeSelf-Released
5SWOOPTICK“Keep Going” [Single]Self-Released
6DJ MOVESPam Grier Step KidsBlack Buffalo
7STIA“Soho House” [Single]Chateau
8EAST SIDE LOVE“Who Knew” [Single]Self-Released
9DEVINE CARAMA“Skillmatic” [Single]Self-Released
10H DOT LECTUR“Rewind Heat” [Single]UndaWorld Bosses Ent.
Weekly Charts

Jazz Charts 2/20/24

Jazz Charts

2MARY HALVORSONCloudwardNonesuch
3BRIAN SCARBOROUGHWe Need The WindOutside In
4ALABASTER DEPLUMECome With Fierce GraceInternational Anthem
5SPECIAL FEELINGSSpecial FeelingsRhythm Section International
6DARIUS JONESFluxkit VancouverNorthern Spy
7CHUCK COPENACEOshki ManitouJayward Artist Group/The Orchard
8FIEVEL IS GLAUQUE“I’m Scanning Things I Can’t See” b/w “Dark Dancing” [Single]Fat Possum
10BUTCHER BROWNSolar MusicConcord Jazz/Concord
Weekly Charts

Chainsaw Charts 2/20/24

Chainsaw Charts

2CRYPTOPSYAs Gomorrah BurnsNuclear Blast
3DOMINATION CAMPAIGN“The Iron Beast” [Single]Prosthetic
4CHAT PILE, NERVERBrothers In Christ [EP]Self-Released
6FREYAFight As OneUpstate
7BARONESSStoneAbraxan Hymns
8ENTIERROThe Gates Of HellSelf-Released
9ESHTADUR“Fire Above Mountain Below” [Single]Self-Released
10MORTA SKULDCreation UndonePeaceville

Chainsaw Adds

1BRATSocial GraceNapalm
2ILLUMISHADEAnother Side Of YouNapalm
3AMIENSUS“Vermillion Fog Of War” [Single]M-Theory
Weekly Charts

Afterhours Charts 2/20/24

Afterhours Charts

1CLULICluecore!Lost Frog
2SHYGIRLClub Shy [EP]Because
3SPENCER HODOdeafnessVivarium
4NUEQZahara [EP]Self-Released
6JUSTICE“One Night/All Night” feat. Tame Impala b/w “Generator” [Single]Ed Banger/Because
7BAD TUNER“24 Hours” [Single]Foreign Family Collective/Ninja Tune
95THWORLDReflective DreamersSelf-Released
10BICEP“CHROMA 001 HELIUM” [Single]Chroma

Weekly Charts

Top Charts 2/13/24

Top Charts

1FLY ANAKINSkinemaxxx (Side A)Lex
2FLY ANAKINSkinemaxxx (Side B)Lex
3AESOP ROCKIntegrated Tech SolutionsRhymesayers
4ATMOSPHERESo Many Other Realities Exist SimultaneouslyRhymesayers
5GOTTS STREET PARKOn The InsideBlue Flowers/PIAS
6ARLO PARKSMy Soft Machine (Deluxe)Transgressive/PIAS
7BUTCHER BROWNSolar MusicConcord Jazz/Concord
8EDO. GWe Do GoodRed Line
9MICKEY O’BRIENOrebodyHand’Solo
10OFFICE DOGSpielNew West/Flying Nun
11THANKS FOR COMINGWhat Is My Capacity To Love? [EP]Danger Collective
12BLACK MILKEverybody Good?Mass Appeal
13CASTLE CHAMPParenting lolSelf-Released
14GABRIEL TEODROSFrom The Ashes Of Our HomesSelf-Released
15HAVIAH MIGHTYCrying CrystalsMighty Gang
16KILLER MIKEMichael (Deluxe)Loma Vista/Concord
17LTTHEMONKUptown Intern #333Sonic Unyon
18MIRANDA JOANOverstimulatedSelf-Released
19PARIS TEXASMid AirParis Texas/The Orchard
20SLEATER-KINNEYLittle RopeLoma Vista/Concord
21SUDAN ARCHIVES“Selfish Soul” (ODESZA Remix) [Single]Stones Throw/Foreign Family Collective/Ninja Tune
22SYRUPThe QuestionsMelting Pot
23CHERRY GLAZERRI Don’t Want You AnymoreSecretly Canadian/Secretly Group
24CITIZENCalling The DogsRun For Cover
26ALFA MISTVariablesAnti-
27DANNY BROWNQuarantaWarp
28MOKA ONLYIn And Of ItselfUrbnet
29SEAFOOD SAMAfros In The Wind [EP]drink sum wtr
Weekly Charts

Underground Charts 2/13/24

Underground Charts

1MIKEBurning DesireLex
2DJ UNKNOWNPrisoners Of GravityUrbnet
3K-RIZOne Way TicketBirthday Cake
4KILLER MIKEMichael (Deluxe)Loma Vista/Concord
5GATTIE THA KINGPortrait Of A King 4Linked Up Empire
6AESOP ROCKIntegrated Tech SolutionsRhymesayers
7CZARFACECzartificial IntelligenceSilver Age/Virgin
8TOUSSAINT MORRISONThe Very Best Of Ricky & JaneUrban Home Companion
9H31RHeadSpaceBig Dada
10MIRANDA JOANOverstimulatedSelf-Released

Underground Adds

1HOMEBOY SANDMAN“Real Good” [Single]Dirty Looks
2CLAYTONE“The Pitch” [Single]Self-Released