Psychedelic Dub EP by PhDeems


The Psychedelic Dub EP is a continuous play album of the first five tracks created by PhDeems. PhDeems began as a project to replicate the “psychedelic dub” sound, which blends the rhythms of reggae music with sounds of psychedelic trance. Each song is engineered to be a thematic musical soundtrack to the psychedelic experience. Spoken intros are used to deliver the theme and the music is written to evoke that mood to the listener. I utilize themes like nature, philosophy, politics, the universe, shamanism, science-fiction, fantasy, conspiracy theories and of psychedelia in general.

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The Psychedelic Dub EP incorporates an authentic psydub sound with elements of traditional reggae and dub, world music, psytrance, psybient, and ambient. Deep bass, ambient pads, and the reggae “riddim” chords are cornerstones of every song. The TB303 sound is utilized heavily throughout the album as it adds the quintessential psychedelic sound. Similarly, the melodica is employed to add the quintessential mellow reggae sound. Using timbales is key to achieving a reggae sound as well. Other instruments and vocals from around the world are also used to infuse a worldly, mystical sound to the album. Sitars, hand drums, various horns, and woodwinds appear frequently. Lead melodies were honed to be as interesting as possible and to harmonize with other tracks. Leads are either real instrument samples or synthesizer generated sounds. All sounds are quite effected (FX). Delay is the most used, as reggae music is famous for its use of tape delay. The album is mixed to be continuous play and the songs were arranged to string together without sounding too abrupt.

A true musical journey will have no interruptions. It has ups and downs, freakouts, and rests all while the listener is perpetually immersed. For this reason, the songs follow a general sequence of intro, verse, verse builds, small climax, breakdown, verse 2, verse2 builds, climax, breakdown/outro. Being something I borrowed from psytrance music, this format is indicative of the psychedelic experience. It is essential to create the ups and downs, the intensity and the blissfulness which keeps a listener captured. For me, this is the philosophy behind making the album continuous play, which I prefer. All songs are between 5-10 minutes. All songs are produced only with Reason, except for Merge and Transcend. It was the first song which Ableton was used with Reason.