Thursday, March 6, 2008

Funky Friday - Make It Reggae

It's not unusal for people with impossibly good taste and impeccably fancy record collections to make claims about not liking Reggae. I think they just haven't found the right type of Reggae yet.

I gave it swift shrift for years - put off by the white, white whine of UB40 and polished pop sound of Bob Marley - but after getting a blast of the broad bassy brushtrokes and thick crackle and pop of Studio One recordings (via a freebie CD, played several times on the bounce) I was soon hooked on the good stuff and discovering Reggae had it's own offbeat sizzlers and funky nuggets. Out of all the thumpbusting Studio One collections, the 'Rockers' comp is probably the perfect place to start your trip to Sir Coxsone Dodd's Studio One .

And, if you happen to be in the sunny Southend area tonight why not pop along to Weird Fantasy where Agent Cooper, Paul Sigg's and myself will be firing up a few Fifties, Freakbeat Garage, Ska and Reggae rockers.
I'll certainly be spinning the Jackie Mittoo track below.

Sharkey Wilson - Make It Reggae.mp3

Jackie Mittoo - Hang Em High.mp3

Now, why not have a skank on over to 56 Special where Rock n Roll meets Reggae in one uptown pop rocking bundle.

Or if you fancy something in a more mellow mood check out Jamaican guitarist and father of Ska Ernest Ranglin's loose and laidback rework of Toots and The Maytals '54-46 Was My Number' here.

Derrick Morgan, Ernest Ranglin & Prince Buster on the roots of Reggae rythm


davyh said...

Maan, I could listen to Ernest Ranglin talk and play like that all day.

That Jackie Mitoo's a spit for the Booker T original.

Jonathon Livingstone Beale III (twice removed) said...

Cool as mate.
Loving that Sharkey Wilson thang - The Right Side Of Reggae!

Mondo said...

Ernie is so cool, its well worth taste testing a track from his acoustic jazz reggae album 'Below The Bassline' here

There's plenty more reggae rockers lined up.

Suzy Norman said...

Dig. So far only been exposed to Jimmy Cliff and Toots, great to hear some new to me stuff.

Axe Victim said...

Lovin' the riddum' vibes baby. More please.

Mondo said...

RE and AV

There's plenty more of these rhythm and grooves lined up.
I may even do a Jackie Mitoo Funky Friday

Simon said...

I think there's another reason why some people don't bother with reggae. And it's the same reason some people give soul or jazz short shrift. There's just too much of it to get a handle on. You almost need a guide to get you through the woods to the good stuff.

My best mate from schooldays is Jamaican and his mum had the best record collection. I used to spend hours listening and taping. A lot of people think reggae and they either - like you say - think of UB40 - or they think it's all roots stuff. When I play them tunes like the Sharkey Wilson thing you can see the surprise on their faces: pop tunes, funky vibes, soulful vocals. Mostly they're surprised by how deep and melodic a lot of it is. I've converted a few people along the way.

When Radio London existed there used to be a Sunday afternoon reggae show so I always to this day listen to reggae while I'm cooking Sunday lunch. It's perfect for bopping in the kitchen! Those bass lines and good food go together so well...

56 Special said...

Sweet and Dandy! Cheers for the heads up fella. Good timing too, I've just put another couple of demos on myspace. One original and a version of Valerie (Zutons/Winehouse/Ronson) that I've been tinkering with just for kicks. As always it's just demos in progress, nothing is finished yet ('specialy the vocals).

Glad to see your adding a bit of skank to your blog. Ernest is the man! I've stolen loads of his jazz/reggae riffs over the years (ave a listen to Tell The Jailer), it's a shame he doesn't get more credit, he's been releasing records for 50 years! He should be in the Hall of Fame, and he's still out there playing...

I agree that getting into reggae can be bit of a task but I reckon PM will agree with me when I say start with the Studio 1 compilations and see what gets ya tappin'... Their complilations are often done in styles i.e Studio 1 Ska, Studio 1 Lovers Rock, Rocksteady, Rockers etc... Makes it a lot easier to find what and who floats yer boat.

Mondo said...

Simon - that sounds like a perfect Sunday afternoon - check out the 100% dynamite series comps too (it's where Sharky Wilson comes from)

56 gave 'Valerie' a blast it's a beaut, 'Tell The Jailer's a treat too, I've been meaning to check out some tunes and tracks from Duke Reid's 'Treasure Isle'label

bleecher said...