Thursday, January 10, 2008

Scientist

Scientist, born Overton Brown in Kingston, Jamaica, 1960 (and also known as Hopeton Brown), was a protégé of King Tubby (Osbourne Ruddock), one of the originators of dub music. He left King Tubby’s studio at the end of the 1970s and became the principal engineer for Channel One Studio when hired by the Hoo Kim brothers.
He came to prominence in the early 1980s and produced many albums, his mixes featuring on many releases in the first part of the decade. In particular, he was the favourite engineer of Henry "Junjo" Lawes, for whom he mixed several albums released on Greensleeves Records. He also did a lot of work for Linval Thompson and Jah Thomas. In 1982 he left for Tuff Gong to assist Errol Brown. He then emigrated to the Washington, D.C. area in 1985, again to work in studios as a sound engineer.

Many fans came to know his music due to half of his album 'Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires' being used on the soundtrack for the popular videogame Grand Theft Auto III. The tracks on the fictitious radio station 'K-Jah' are composed entirely of songs from this album. However, Scientist received no royalties for this and sued Rockstar Games unsuccessfully in a US court. The court ruled that according to precedent a recording mixer was not considered the author of a musical work, and so Rockstar were correct to treat the producer Henry "Junjo" Lawes as the copyright holder of the album.

This ruling could be argued to neglect the fundamental difference between dub-reggae and other kinds of music - after all, the album is marketed as 'Scientist rids the world of the evil curse of the vampires': so the publishers and self identified licensors are prepared to attribute authorship to Hopeton Brown when it suits them, but not when it comes to paying him royalties. It can, however, be argued that Scientist was introduced to a much larger audience as a result of the licensing of his album to Rockstar, in which case he may have sold more albums as a result.

Scientist also tours from time to time as a band engineer and producer for the reggae acts that he is currently promoting. His wildly creative artistic style has resulted in the destruction of loudspeakers in the venues where he was controlling the sound balance. As a result, Scientist has been banned from touching the sound equipment in several San Francisco and New York City clubs and studios. ~wikipedia

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

interesting. didn't know that about GTA 3. bastards

Tonyoneill said...

You rock. I am a HUGE fan of Scientist, although I have not been able to find Scientist and jammy Strike back ANYWHERE. These albums constitute some of the best dub ever produced to my ears...

Deyv said...

You forgot to mention that Scientist lived in Silver Spring Md and the fact that he is banned from certain clubs is straight up blarpharistic.

XMP said...

OH! 88s in the house yaaaaaaaaaaay

I didn't realize he was in silver spring. Or that he was banned from any clubs. thats weird.

S.A.T said...

AWESOME!
Love the dub posts!
Keep 'em coming!

MANY MANY THANKS!

Anonymous said...

I found this interesting recorded statement from Scientist on the subject of one particular banishment from a outdoor music festival:

http://www.dubmusic.com/3/The_Scientis_respond_to_blown_sound_system.mp3

I tried to cite the source but I forget the forum from which I found the link.

XMP said...

Interesting - thanks for all the cool sidenotes on the Scientist post!

Anonymous said...

fret not duib heads, the reggae massive can find all of scientist's
dubs at Sunshine - http://mooszka.blogspot.com/

Gonzo said...

Thanks very much for his posts!! you rock! rock.. rock.. rock.. (delay)