Pon Di Wire
- Words: Tomas Palermo
The mysterious, echo-laden sounds of Jamaican dubwise music are again under the historical and critical spotlight. Michael Veal (pictured), author and associate professor of ethnomusicology at Yale University, presents a new look at vintage dub in Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae (Wesleyan Press). Studio legends like Osbourne "King Tubby" Ruddock, Errol Thompson, and Lee "Scratch" Perry are featured in the book, which traces remix production techniques back to their 1970s Kingston origins.
Rush dem a rush: A number of new artists with intriguing names have entered the Jamaican charts. Dancehall “draft pick”–the up and coming sing-jay Movado (pictured)–sees his “Last Night” (TJs) hold a steady place in the top five, and he’s joined by newcomer Erup, whose “Run Dem Head” chastises men ruled by their mates. Also in the charts, roots singer Ginjah’s “Music Alone” (I-Land) comes in at number seven, while the Niahbinghi-drum built “Holy Words” by fast rising singer Bescenta, along side Warrior King, rounds out the top 20. Other new names in the mix include Munga, Nanko, and Aidonia, who have all scored hits and proved that Jamaican music continually replenishes itself.
If you thought former Marine and reggae performer Shaggy was retired as of “It Wasn’t Me,” think again. The multi-platinum and Grammy winning artist is back big-time with his religious critique “Church Heathen,” off a forthcoming VP/Big Yard album expected to be released this summer. “Heathan” spent seven weeks at Number One on Jamaica’s dancehall chart, and holds the top spot in St. Lucia and New York Reggae charts as well. Check out the “Church Heathen” video, with special guest appearances by the legendary Ninja Man, who plays the role of the pastor.
Get your sound clash game on at Infinite Wheel. Hours of sound-effect dub fun, complete with flash animation to make you smile. Play video games like “One Love” and “Little Axe,” based on old-school roots and dub cuts.
One 876 is reporting that Jamaican entertainer Anthony B was freed of a possession of ganja charge when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court Thursday, April 5. The artist, whose real name is Keith Anthony Blair, along with his road manager, Michael Johnson, were freed as Resident Magistrate Desiree Alleyne upheld a no case submission made by lead defense attorney Bert Samuels, who represented the two. According to the police, narcotics officers swooped down on a house at Gordon Town, St. Andrew, in June last year, and found 18 pounds of ganja at the premises.
Read how Jamaicans are reacting to Britain’s recent commemorations of the abolition of African slavery in its colonies 200 years ago. Professor Carolyn Cooper, of the University of the West Indies, says personal apologies mean nothing. "What Britain needs to do as a nation is acknowledge the scale and magnitude of the crimes it committed, and then having made that acknowledgment, find the appropriate way to right historic wrongs."
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