This Is Augustus Pablo

This Is Augustus Pablo

Augustus Pablo changed the sound and direction of reggae with his innovative productions and instantly identifiable instrumental style. Pablo’s relaxed and intelligent playing transformed tightly wound reggae instrumentals into expansive soundscapes that could lull listeners into meditative trances. His career began in the late ‘60s when he was a teenager; he recorded moody instrumentals for Herman Chin Loy’s Aquarius label. In early 1973, old school friends turned record producers Pat and Clive Chin helped Pablo record his first solo album, This Is Augustus Pablo. The album is a cornerstone of early reggae. Skeletal dub cuts like “Dub Organizer” and “Pablo in Dub” anticipate the haunted grandeur of his later work with King Tubby and Lee Perry, while brooding minor-key melodica solos like “Arabian Rock” recall the mysterious atmosphere of early Pablo masterpieces like “East of the River Nile." VP Records’ 2011 reissue of This Is Augustus Pablo appends three bonus tracks to the original album’s 12-song track list. The finest of these is the seminal “Java," a deeply weird slice of proto-dub that finds Pablo’s eastern-tinged melodica work punctuated by unearthly screams and echoing vocals.

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