February 25, 2005

Shortcuts - Genomic Dub Collective

Genomic Dub Collective

Origin of Species in Dub


Born out of a celebration of Charles Darwin and The Origin of Species, Origin of Species in Dub is an album composed of selections of Darwin's seminal work read and sung to dub reggae music. Professor Mark Pallen of the University of Birmingham and colleagues formed the Genomic Dub Collective to create this album, which is one of the coolest names for an academic group (though maybe some would dispute their scholarly nature). Embracing the dub form, the album is unafraid to let the music come to the fore.

After listening to the album, I was struck by the fact that this is not just a novelty album but actually good music that can stand on its own—enjoyable even if you don't have any interest in Darwin or his opus. While there are other genres of music that could be seen as particularly fitting for U of C students (nerd rock comes to mind), Pallen's genomic dub is truly a music that can be at home at Chicago. What could be more quintessentially University of Chicago than walking around campus listening to The Origin of Species on your iPod? I, for one, have made this album a permanent addition to my music library, so if you ever see me bobbing my head and mumbling about natural selection, you'll know what I'm listening to. You can find out more about the album at and download it for £3.99 (about $7.50).

— Peter Robinett