‘Lovers Rock’: Film Review

September 28th, 2020

Director Steve McQueen conjures the sensual atmosphere and freedom of a 1980 house party in this feature from his ‘Small Axe’ anthology for Amazon about London’s West Indian community.

There’s a heady, hypnotic interlude midway through Steve McQueen’s dreamy celebration of Black community and culture, Lovers Rock, when Janet Kay’s 1979 hit "Silly Games" plays out on the turntable and is taken up by the people crammed into the suburban London living room where a house party is being held.

For a full five minutes they continue singing a cappella — the women in particular — their voices matched by the ecstasy of their swaying bodies. The massive speakers remain quiet and the only other sound is the shuffle of feet on wooden floorboards and an occasional exclamation of approval from the DJ.

via 'Lovers Rock': Film Review .

Joe Higgs, the unsung reggae pioneer who schooled Bob Marley, others – Face2Face Africa

September 28th, 2020

Joe Higgs is a name still uncommon to many reggae fans today despite his vast contributions during a musical career of over three decades. He is described as the “Father of Reggae” by those cognizant and appreciative of his massive input into what is now the world’s most influential music.

And while little-known, his influence has shaped the course of the music, directly touching the genre’s most significant and successful performers. He left fingerprints on nearly every important recording and band that emerged from Jamaica in the 1960s and ’70s.

Born Joseph Benjamin Higgs on June 3, 1940, in Kingston, Jamaica, he became instrumental in the foundation of modern Jamaican music, mostly known for his tremendous work of tutoring younger musicians including reggae big-names like Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Judy Mowatt, Derrick Harriott and Wailing Souls to name a few.

via Joe Higgs, the unsung reggae pioneer who schooled Bob Marley, others – Face2Face Africa.

Cultural revolutions: how dub reggae’s beats conquered 70s Britain

September 28th, 2020

Music producer Mad Professor has been mixing dub reggae in his Croydon studio for 35 years. “When dub hits you in the chest you feel it,” he said. “It gets inside you – it shakes your belly.”With its heavy beat of drum and bass, and the hypnotic spacing of reverb and echo, dub is a world apart from the music it grew from – the reggae of artists such as Bob Marley and Desmond Dekker.

But it emerged from the same ghettos of Kingston in Jamaica, half a century ago. And Britain is where dub found its most fervent adopted home – thanks in large part to the Windrush generation that arrived from the Caribbean after the second world war. A cultural legacy that is now being celebrated in a new exhibition, which opens at the Museum of London on Friday.

via Cultural revolutions: how dub reggae’s beats conquered 70s Britain | Music | The Guardian.

Shaggy Recommends Bangin’ on the Bathroom Floor While Quarantined During Coronavirus

April 12th, 2020

Here are a few things I didn’t know about Shaggy, the chart-topping Jamaican reggae-ish singer behind hits like “It Wasn’t Me,” “Angel,” and “Boombastic,” prior to prepping for our interview: He served in the Marines, achieving the rank of lance corporal, and fought in the Persian Gulf; he honed his singing voice during his Jarhead years; he is not named after the stoner Scooby-Doo character; and he’s a happily married man with three daughters.

via Shaggy Recommends Bangin’ on the Bathroom Floor While Quarantined During Coronavirus.

Copeland Forbes on COVID-19′s Impact on the Reggae Music Industry

April 12th, 2020

Music industry veteran Copeland Forbes believes it will take more than one year before Jamaica’s reggae product recovers from the coronavirus fallout.He made the ominous prediction with uncertainty surrounding European summer festivals, which have provided a solid payday for many Jamaican artists over the years.

Forbes, who has booked reggae tours for over 40 years, said the postponement/cancellation of events like Summer Jam in Germany and Rototom in Spain, because of the coronavirus, has worse consequences for the reggae artist than the aftermath of 9/11.

via Copeland Forbes on COVID-’s Impact on the Reggae Music Industry.

Everything You Need To Know About Planning A Destination Wedding In Jamaica

November 4th, 2019

If you’re engaged and thinking of having a destination wedding, chances are Jamaica has landed somewhere on your list of locations. After all, who could say no to an island full of picture-perfect beaches, unforgettable sunsets, and beautiful Black people?

The problem is, planning a wedding on a tropical island thousands of miles away is no easy feat. When you don’t have a lay of the land, and don’t live close enough to visit actual vendors in person, it can be tricky to know who to hire and where to stay to make your dream wedding become a reality.

via Everything You Need To Know About Planning A Destination Wedding In Jamaica.

Nobody can stop reggae — Jamaican reggae artiste endorses Mariga

November 4th, 2019

Jamaican reggae artiste Kenyatta Hill is set to perform on Sunday, November 3, 2019, in a campaign rally to drum up support for Kibra by-election candidate McDonald Mariga.This was confirmed by Dennis Itumbi who stated that Hill has endorsed the former Harambee Stars midfielder.The artiste, who is the son of the late Joseph Hill, singer and songwriter for the legendary Jamaican vocal trio Culture, said he is rooting for Mariga and believes he is the right choice for the people of Kibra.

via Nobody can stop reggae — Jamaican reggae artiste endorses Mariga.

Squash’s family-first mentality makes him dancehall’s hottest artist

September 9th, 2019

In early August of 2018, Squash, born Andrae Whittaker, was detained by the Jamaica Constabulary Force during a state of emergency sweep in Montego Bay, due to a rise in crime and violence. Without a formal charge or clear reason as to why he was picked up, the 28-year-old spent five months at the Freeport Police Station in MoBay. But during this difficult time of incarceration, his songs “Mek It Shake” and “6ix Boss” started to spread in the streets like a mad virus. He was finally freed in January, and since then, the aptly dubbed 6ix Boss has made a beeline straight to the top of the dancehall food chain. “It’s not something that I planned y’know,” he says of his rise when we speak over the phone in late July. “Growing up, I always liked to sing at home in my bathroom. It was just natural.”

via Squash’s family-first mentality makes him dancehall’s hottest artist.

Inna de Yard review – a poignant tale of resistance, resilience and reggae

September 9th, 2019

Potentially tricky territory here. Back in 2017, the white British film-maker Peter Webber travelled to Jamaica to document a musical reunion destined to remind seasoned arthouse patrons of Wim Wenders’ Buena Vista Social Club. The Inna de Yard sessions gathered reggae veterans on a rickety porch in Kingston to re-record their best-known standards acoustically – mirroring that unplugged tradition prevalent in MTV circles almost since the electric guitar’s invention, while venturing a Jamaican analogue to the Great American Songbook.

via Inna de Yard review – a poignant tale of resistance, resilience and reggae.

Reggae Legends Convene Soul Summit On “Red Gold Green & Blue” – Rolling Stone

July 15th, 2019

One of the greatest rhythm sections to ever rub-a-dub on planet Earth, Sly and Robbie’s client roster has included Dylan, Madonna, Serge Gainsbourg, and No Doubt. But the team’s best jams are the most deeply rooted in the Jamaican music they helped invent — at the core of Peter Tosh’s band; with the Compass Point All-Stars; and on their own Taxi Records sessions, source of some of the reggae canon’s mightiest sides. Their ur-grooves justify from the get-go Red Gold Green & Blue, a set of blues, r and b and soul covers of the sort that might otherwise land like pro-forma, unessential nostalgia.

via Review: Reggae Legends Convene Soul Summit On “Red Gold Green and Blue”.