Augustus "Gussie" Clarke is a dub reggae
producer who hit the scene in the early '70's as the producer for noted acts Big Youth
. He hit a new stride with 1976's Black Foundation Dub
still one of the greatest dub records ever released. His use of new studio techniques and traditional reggae
instrumentation blew away the reggae world and acts queued up outside his studio on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston, Jamaica. His Gussie and Puppy labels produced (IMHO
) the best dub of the 70's.
Disco and electronica displaced dub's position in the early 80's, and Clarke's fortunes waned a bit as he released uninspiring work from some of the supestars of the reggae world like Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs.
When Clarke announced he would record the Mighty Diamonds in 1988 at his own Music City Studio rather than the New York studio their previous album had recorded the reggae world replied with a collective yawn. It's a good thing the uninterested all ready had their mouths open to yawn, for that saved them all a good deal of time as their jaws dropped on hearing the results of Clarke and the Diamonds revolutionary electronic reggae sound.
If you associate dub with low, low bass and electronic beats, Gussie Clarke is one of the main reasons why. His use of synth and drum machines combined with his rock solid (and steady) roots to create the new sound of dub. Once again the greatest reggae acts in the world clamoured for Clarke to produce them. Isaacs recorded the international hit Rumours with Clarke in 1988 and JC Lodge's reintrepretation as Telephone Love charted in the US.
Following those triumps Clarke spent the early 90's recording Aswad, Maxi Priest, Shabba Ranks, and jazz musician Courtney Pine. His output in recent years has been scant, limited to a few remix compiliations of previously recorded material. Still Clarke's legacy as one of the greatest ever reggae producers is unquestioned.