Bass Culture Roundup: David Rodigan, Busy Signal, SxSW
Jamaica and the UK are part of the united nations of music converging upon SxSW. Get familiar with the state of their union, word to David Cameron.
Experimentation in all genres of music has birthed their fair share of subgenres. Then the subgenres breed more sub categories. That’s just how the cycle goes. For instance, dubstep with its roots in reggae music is a sign of how much Jamaican tunes have evolved sonically. Regionally, the UK has embraced Jamaica, thanks to its strong Caribbean population and the long-time support of legendary DJ/selector, David Rodigan. Where reggae music is going these days, raising awareness of social and economic strife in the country has rekindled Rodigan’s confidence in reggae as the music of the people. Busy Signal’s new album Reggae Music Again, is the latest release to spark Rodigan’s recent stream of consciousness, praising Busy for staying true to the legacy that came before him. Check out David Rodigan’s review of Busy Signal’s new album after the jump.
David Rodigan: Having listened intently to the Busy Signal album I can honestly say that this is one of the most impressive REGGAE albums that I have heard in a long time. I have been a die hard fan of this man for many years as his work as a lyricist, commentator and performer are truly exceptional, especially his vocal singing skills which have been revealed in more recent times. “Missing You (Come Over)” being a perfect example.
In fact I sat in my studio with my jaw in the palm of my hand most of the time; I have become so dis-illusioned by what Jamaica has had to offer in recent times that I was simply overjoyed by what I heard last night and again this morning. A collection of songs, chants and raps in varying styles, speed and tempo. Songs of hope and of redemption, songs of joy and love and songs of warning.
Haunting songs of hope such as “Jah Love.” “With Jah love I have no fear… just like in the days of Nanny Jah rescue his people from the pit and the ditch.”
“Running From The Law” feat Romain and Esco with the rnb intro and the reggae one drop kicking in, it has that feeling created by Bob’s “I Shot The Sheriff.”
“Sweetest Life” – “Jah Jah protect we always…stick to your thing no put nobody shoes on.”
“Wicked Man” is a magnificent take on Junior Byles “Beat Down Babylon” and I can hear that being played hard in the dance halls; “crab in a barrel try a draw you down when you try to rise.”
“Reggae Music Again” with that beautiful old style Winston Wright organ and the uplifting melody is going to be one of the biggest tracks for this year” …mek we unite again…remember when way back then, positivity was the message we send”…from the root to the stem, it used to be Jamaica no problem.”
“Fireball,” what a song.” Clearer than the 3D movie Avatar …Blackberry crash. Them head get mash, them can’t tweet…bun the corrupted priests…” I can hear that “Throw Me Corn” style bass line and I love the horns and the way the riddim rolls into the dub.
“Kingston Town” and “Modern Day Slavery” are modern day masterpieces.
I also think the album sleeve is perfect with Busy standing amidst the old reel to reel machines.
Shane Brown is to be congratulated for his unfailing faith and courage towards promoting reggae music and keeping the vision alive.
I can assure you that I shall do all I can both as a broadcaster and a club/festival DJ to make sure that the reggae world both here in the UK and in Europe are made more than aware of the significance of the milestone album. May it serve as a message to the young Jamaican music makers that Europe is not interested in young Jamaicans trying to emulate American r [rock] and r [roll] stars and hip hop dudes and gals. What we want is reggae and dancehall with substance.