Sunday, October 08, 2006
Am the Upsetter
What's in a sound? It's something like that boom booming of the rhythm and the beat beat of the pulse. The chop of the skank and the flow of the voice, oh so smoothe and indiscreet, a primal feeling that resonates with the limbs and the mind. One big drum, skin drawn taught by social pressures, ready to let loose in one big release.
The roots of the reggae sound find themselves beneath the political rollers and musical whirlpools of the 1960s. For the likes of Desmond Dekkar, Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytals, the Skatalites, and many others, including avid crowds of fans in Great Britain the new sound that emerged was different from the rest. Producers like Coxsone Dodd at Studio One, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, and King Tubby helped to cultivate and spread it. Its realm of association has come to include many names, with ska, dub, dancehall, and reggae being amongst them. Despite their notable differences, each name bears some similar connotations. That strong offbeat skank and those wailing singers. That soul and that beat to connect to.
Burning Spear - Sneakmove
Desmond Dekkar - 'Fu Manchu'
Lee 'Scratch' Perry and the White Belly Rats - Panic in Babylon
Toots and the Maytals - 'Funky Kingston'
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - 'Scratch the Dub Organ'
The Skatalites - 'Skaraven'
Lee 'Scratch' Perry - 'The Upsetter'
The Upsetters - 'Live Injection'
The Skatalites - 'Garden of Love'
Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley - Move!
Desmond Dekkar - 'Music Like Dirt'
Kexp.org, a la link from the side bar, airs a wonderful set of Jamaican beats every Saturday from 9am - 12pm. It's called Positive Vibrations, and you can access it either by using the live radio streaming feature, or accessing their streaming archive. Well worth your time when you're feeling the beat.