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Re: [thewire] Lee Perry - a Jamaican Holger Czukay?

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  • Kristopher S. Handley
    ... I m having a bit of trouble finding this; what s it called, how available is it, what label, etc.? Thanks, ...
    Message 1 of 30 , Apr 5, 2001
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      >From: "R. Lim" <r-lim-1@...>
      >E.g. the 70s Upsetters singles (several
      >2CD volumes in a handsomely bound book package)

      I'm having a bit of trouble finding this; what's it called, how available is
      it, what label, etc.?

      Thanks,

      ---s
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    • Ryan Whitehead
      ... not at all. beyond roots and dub most people have no concept of the depth of jamaican music . . . even the fact that all jamaican music is referred to as
      Message 2 of 30 , Apr 5, 2001
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        >Am I alone here in my facinated flirtation with this stuff??

        not at all. beyond roots and dub most people have no concept of the depth of
        jamaican music . . . even the fact that all jamaican music is referred to as
        "reggae" when, one could argue, the true "reggae" period was built up
        to--from mento, to ska, to rocksteady, through the rebel period, to early
        reggae, and true reggae--and then moved beyond--through dub, deejays,
        dancehall, ragga, conscious ragga, etc.

        a continuation of this can be seen in the fact that those viewed as the
        paragons of jamaican music in the world at large--bob marley and lee
        perry--were actually unique figures standing, in many ways, outside of
        jamaican musics more dominant threads of sound systems, dancehalls,
        prominent producers, etc. this is particularly true of Marley . . . But
        that's a result of what i call the marlification of reggae (i've probably
        exposed this theory on list before)--"everyone" thinks Marley is synonymous
        with reggae, they hear reggae and ask if it's marley even if it sounds
        nothing like marley.

        with that brief rant out of the way, i'd like to point to a couple of
        producers around the legendary time of Perry that are equally worthy of
        investigation: Niney the Observer and Keith Hudson. Niney's Blood and Fire
        collection is unstopable, as are Keith Hudson's Pick A Dub and Studio Kinda
        Cloudy. I hear his Flesh of My Flesh is a frightful murk--in a good
        way--but i've yet to find a copy. A couple song oriented lee perry
        production to augment the recommendation of the Congoes--a pause for the
        congoes to stress that this is one of the greatest pieces of jamaican music
        ever recorded, particularly the two disc reissue of Blood and Fire--are the
        Junior Byles collections Curly Locks and Beat Down Babylon, and the Max
        Romeo discs Open the Iron Gate and War Inna Babylon.

        But this started on the ragga front. In a perverse way, the interest to
        wire-ites makes sense: check the Ambush records releases (particularly the
        comp Mash Up The Place, a reference to the dancehalls), anything by DJ Scud
        (the 7" on Machinebau, "total desctruction"), and the fantastic 7"s on Scuds
        Jah Vengeance label (Bloodclaat Gangsta Youth's--aka Dj Scud--"Kill Or Be
        Killed" and Jah Vengeance's--aka I-Sound--"No Light"). All fuse noizecore
        with wicked ragga sounds. Pull out the recommendations for wicked ragga . .
        . I don't think I'm the only one that's interested.


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      • Jason Witherspoon
        ... What s the Niney Blood & Fire collection called? I can t find any info on their seemingly-otherwise-up-to-date website-- Completely agreed on the _Pick a
        Message 3 of 30 , Apr 5, 2001
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          At 4:17 PM -0700 4/5/01, Ryan Whitehead wrote:
          >Niney's Blood and Fire
          >collection is unstopable, as are Keith Hudson's Pick A Dub and Studio Kinda
          >Cloudy.

          What's the Niney Blood & Fire collection called? I can't find any
          info on their seemingly-otherwise-up-to-date website--

          Completely agreed on the _Pick a Dub_-- great great album. I've also
          been very heavily into the Chantells & Friends _Children of Jah_ B&F
          comp; it's basically a comp of Roy Francis' tiny but excellent Phase
          One label from '77-'79. The best stuff on here reminds me much of
          the Congos, & there's a smattering of neato moogy action which makes
          it all the more excellent, though the meat of the matter is the
          wonderful songs.

          --


          Jason Witherspoon
          ICQ #62837760

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        • Ryan Whitehead
          Oops-- couple errors. I too misspelled Congos . . . and Dj Scud s label is Full Watts, not Jah Vengeance. As I said, Jah Vengeance is a nome-de-stylus of
          Message 4 of 30 , Apr 5, 2001
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            Oops--

            couple errors. I too misspelled "Congos" . . . and Dj Scud's label is Full
            Watts, not Jah Vengeance. As I said, Jah Vengeance is a nome-de-stylus of
            I-Sound . . . Just the lunacy of a late night at work.

            The Niney album is actually titled "Blood And Fire: Niney and Friends". It's
            on Trojan. Sorry for the misleading comment . . . There's just so damned
            much blood and fire and jah swirling around when one speaks of jamaican
            sounds that it's hard to keep it all straight.

            ryan


            >From: Jason Witherspoon <arzachel@...>
            >Reply-To: thewire@yahoogroups.com
            >To: thewire@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: Re: [thewire] Lee Perry - a Jamaican Holger Czukay?
            >Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 16:34:57 -0700
            >
            >At 4:17 PM -0700 4/5/01, Ryan Whitehead wrote:
            > >Niney's Blood and Fire
            > >collection is unstopable, as are Keith Hudson's Pick A Dub and Studio
            >Kinda
            > >Cloudy.
            >
            >What's the Niney Blood & Fire collection called? I can't find any
            >info on their seemingly-otherwise-up-to-date website--
            >
            >Completely agreed on the _Pick a Dub_-- great great album. I've also
            >been very heavily into the Chantells & Friends _Children of Jah_ B&F
            >comp; it's basically a comp of Roy Francis' tiny but excellent Phase
            >One label from '77-'79. The best stuff on here reminds me much of
            >the Congos, & there's a smattering of neato moogy action which makes
            >it all the more excellent, though the meat of the matter is the
            >wonderful songs.
            >
            >--
            >
            >
            > Jason Witherspoon
            > ICQ #62837760
            >
            > ---------
            > ----O----
            > --- ---
            > --- ---
            > ----O----
            > ---------

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          • jamello@aol.com
            Message 5 of 30 , Apr 6, 2001
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              < not at all. beyond roots and dub most people have no concept of the depth of jamaican music . . . even the fact that all jamaican music is referred to as
              "reggae" when, one could argue, the true "reggae" period was built up to--from mento, to ska, to rocksteady, through the rebel period, to early
              reggae, and true reggae--and then moved beyond--through dub, deejays, dancehall, ragga, conscious ragga, etc. >

              Exactly the point I was going to make. I have the kind folks at Soul Jazz for opening my eyes, the four "Dynamite" comps have literally no dub tracks and clued me in to some wonderful examples of various "reggae" styles. Hell, I even went out and bought a Prince Buster compilation recently!

              RE: dancehall, Simon Reynolds' web page has a "faves of 2000" article with an entire section devoted to the genre. He too points out how the riddims are wack, merging elements of techno and hiphop (The Elephant Man CD even concludes with a take on a DMX track.)

              Of course, you still have to get over the playa/gangsta lyrics on some tracks, but overall a fun spin.
            • JacobM
              when the subject turns to ragga it always seems to end with someone mentioning Dj scud/ambush i d love to hear of any genuine ragga records that feature harder
              Message 6 of 30 , Apr 6, 2001
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                when the subject turns to ragga it always seems to end with someone
                mentioning Dj scud/ambush

                i'd love to hear of any genuine ragga records that feature harder than hard
                sounds..
                bashment records, bass saturated Dj mix tapes, etc..
                one to look out for..
                elephant man- cd killa-- voice processing cd skipping effects..

                any other sugestions?

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Jess Harvell [mailto:dubplatestyle@...]
                Sent: 05 April 2001 22:41
                To: thewire@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [thewire] Lee Perry - a Jamaican Holger Czukay?


                >I never really understood how someone
                >could listen only to dub and neglect all of the other fine offerings from
                >Jamaica.

                Agreed, of course, so let's get into the one area which no self-conscious
                Wire hipster seems to talk about...modern Jamaican dancehall... I've really
                gotten into this stuff over the last couple of years...mostly through
                compilations like Greensleeves "Best Ragga Dancehall Of [Insert Year
                Here]"... Aside from the obligatory gat popping and ho slappin, I'm amazed
                at how completely funked up the rhythms are... Beenie Man's "Moses Cry" is
                like '91 Belg-core techno slowed down to 1/3 the speed... There's an
                Elephant Man track that's basically hard acid...wouldn't sound completely
                out of place in a Richie Hawtin set... Even at their worst, the rest have a
                similar skittery, fitful energy as the best Swiz Beats or Timbaland track...
                Am I alone here in my facinated flirtation with this stuff??

                -Sprout
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              • R. Lim
                ... The Complete Upsetter Singles Collection, vols 1-3 (a fourth is due next month- I haven t had a chance to hear the third one yet). They re on Trojan, so
                Message 7 of 30 , Apr 6, 2001
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                  On Thu, 5 Apr 2001, Kristopher S. Handley wrote:

                  > >From: "R. Lim" <r-lim-1@...>
                  > >E.g. the 70s Upsetters singles (several
                  > >2CD volumes in a handsomely bound book package)
                  >
                  > I'm having a bit of trouble finding this; what's it called, how available is
                  > it, what label, etc.?

                  The Complete Upsetter Singles Collection, vols 1-3 (a fourth is due next
                  month- I haven't had a chance to hear the third one yet). They're on
                  Trojan, so they should run you about $30/each.

                  -rob
                • Ryan Whitehead
                  Oh, correction: this has not ended up with someone mentioning DJ Scud, but begun with someone mentioning DJ Scud. I m not sure if this is saying everyone
                  Message 8 of 30 , Apr 6, 2001
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                    Oh, correction: this has not ended up with someone mentioning DJ Scud, but
                    begun with someone mentioning DJ Scud. I'm not sure if this is saying
                    "everyone knows this stuff . . . don't mention it" or "it's crap . . . don't
                    mention it" or just "hey, look, you mentioned it". Anyway, I think that the
                    releases I mentioned are excellent and there aren't many other people
                    currently integrating ragga into adventurous music--please correct me if i'm
                    wrong. Sure, in the days of old, jungle and the bristol stuff took up
                    dancehall/ragga and ran it well into their chosen genre's burst seams. But
                    today it's mostly 2 Step Garage which, though a guilty pleasure of mine, is
                    VERY conservative--morally, philosophically, musically, etc.

                    When diving into "true" ragga, I often feel like i've just missed that
                    energy that overwhelms the best Ambush/full watts/noizecore ragga tracks.
                    some older stuff that's not as fried as we're looking for, but excellent
                    nonetheless: Bounty Killer's "My Xperience", Ninja Man's "Bounty Hunter",
                    the "Hardcore Ragga" compilation, and maybe the "Ragga Essentials: In A
                    Dancehall Style" compilation. Though uniformly excellent, most of these are
                    less packed with insanity than I want. I have the impression that the truly
                    wild stuff is hidden throughout the mass production of tracks, the broken
                    down wax factories of jamaican ghettos--am I off the mark here?

                    Though someone already mentioned it, Simon Reynold's site does point to many
                    promising sounding compilations. I've got the "Dancehall 101" compilations
                    on VP, packed with good tracks and the occassional cage rattling rhythm, and
                    several of the "Strictly The Best" compilations, which follow the same
                    unpredictable good/great pattern. I used to be turned off by these
                    compilations because the covers are so incredibly tacky . . . don't let that
                    discourage. The Rough Guide to reggae also has chapters on Ragga and
                    Dancehall that pull out the historical inflection points.

                    rw out*

                    >when the subject turns to ragga it always seems to end with someone
                    >mentioning Dj scud/ambush
                    >
                    >i'd love to hear of any genuine ragga records that feature harder than hard
                    >sounds..
                    > bashment records, bass saturated Dj mix tapes, etc..
                    >one to look out for..
                    >elephant man- cd killa-- voice processing cd skipping effects..
                    >
                    >any other sugestions?
                    >
                    >-----Original Message-----
                    >From: Jess Harvell [mailto:dubplatestyle@...]
                    >Sent: 05 April 2001 22:41
                    >To: thewire@yahoogroups.com
                    >Subject: Re: [thewire] Lee Perry - a Jamaican Holger Czukay?
                    >
                    >
                    > >I never really understood how someone
                    > >could listen only to dub and neglect all of the other fine offerings from
                    > >Jamaica.
                    >
                    >Agreed, of course, so let's get into the one area which no self-conscious
                    >Wire hipster seems to talk about...modern Jamaican dancehall... I've
                    >really
                    >gotten into this stuff over the last couple of years...mostly through
                    >compilations like Greensleeves "Best Ragga Dancehall Of [Insert Year
                    >Here]"... Aside from the obligatory gat popping and ho slappin, I'm amazed
                    >at how completely funked up the rhythms are... Beenie Man's "Moses Cry" is
                    >like '91 Belg-core techno slowed down to 1/3 the speed... There's an
                    >Elephant Man track that's basically hard acid...wouldn't sound completely
                    >out of place in a Richie Hawtin set... Even at their worst, the rest have
                    >a
                    >similar skittery, fitful energy as the best Swiz Beats or Timbaland
                    >track...
                    >Am I alone here in my facinated flirtation with this stuff??
                    >
                    >-Sprout
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                    >Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
                    >
                    >
                    >
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                    >
                    >TheWire List Info Page: http://www.msu.edu/user/forddavi/wirelist.html
                    >
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                    >
                    >

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                  • Jess Harvell
                    ... No, I think you re bang on...that was kinda what I was trying to say when I started (this end) of the thread...(I guess in the vain hopes that there would
                    Message 9 of 30 , Apr 7, 2001
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                      >I have the impression that the truly
                      >wild stuff is hidden throughout the mass production of tracks, the broken
                      >down wax factories of jamaican ghettos--am I off the mark here?

                      No, I think you're bang on...that was kinda what I was trying to say when I
                      started (this end) of the thread...(I guess in the vain hopes that there
                      would be someone here that was inordinantly expertised in the genre)...I
                      think to find the truly out there one offs you have to be "living the life,"
                      i.e. scouring dingy record stores wallpapered with little 7" singles...it's
                      like any subculture, throw a newbie into the mix and he's not gonna be able
                      to distinguish DJ Hype from Aquasky, Napalm Death from Stryper...except by
                      listening, exploring, yadda, yadda...also, I think we're missing a lot of
                      the impact of these songs listening to them on the frictionless digital
                      surface of a CD...namely: the bass intensive club sound system, the crowd,
                      the drugs, the mix (such as it is...there ain't a lot of seamless/banal
                      Oakentroll trance mixing goin on in the dancehall), basically the vibe...

                      >I used to be turned off by these
                      >compilations because the covers are so incredibly tacky . . . don't let
                      >that
                      >discourage.

                      I use to feel the same way...but a decade of house & jungle comps (is it de
                      rigeur for these things to have uniformly awful covers?) and hardcore rap
                      (alla those post-No Limit glittering, fisheyed letters..) - not to mention
                      all the metal I listen to as a teen - cured me of that...sometimes you just
                      gotta swallow your taste and your pride...;)

                      -Sprout

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                    • trommer
                      a side note... ...jamaica isn t the only source for dancehall, ragga, etc.... toronto has the largest concentration of jamaicans outside of kingston, and has
                      Message 10 of 30 , Apr 7, 2001
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                        a side note...
                        ...jamaica isn't the only source for dancehall, ragga, etc....
                        toronto has the largest concentration of jamaicans outside of kingston,
                        and has always quite a thriving scene with many small labels, vinyl
                        cutters, a shit-load of little mom & pop hole-in-the-wall record stores
                        (on eglinton ave: the black uhuru song 'youth of eglinton' is about the
                        neighbourhood and michael rose has since relocated there)
                        when d&b was in its infancy (when it was still popularily known as
                        'jungle') there was alot of wicked hard raw ragga-jungle coming out of
                        that scene...the whole dancehall scene is still very active here as
                        well...

                        worth checking out.
                      • ZURAW,BRYAN LAWRENCE
                        ... i think yr right about this and it goes even further. it s been a long time since i went to dances (in montreal, and not all that much) but it was an
                        Message 11 of 30 , Apr 7, 2001
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                          > surface of a CD...namely: the bass intensive club sound system, the crowd,
                          > the drugs, the mix (such as it is...there ain't a lot of seamless/banal
                          > Oakentroll trance mixing goin on in the dancehall), basically the vibe...
                          >
                          i think yr right about this and it goes even further. it's been a long
                          time since i went to dances (in montreal, and not all that much) but
                          it was an ear-opening experience. the records are like dj tools - they're
                          mixed with a live DJ (ie MC) and soemtimes a live singer too and cut in
                          with lots of dubplates etc... i've never heard any dj scud/ambush stuff yr
                          discussing, but the dancehall performance of a good sound seems
                          to approach that density. if you can find good reggae radio shows -
                          you also get a taste of this experience. i find this is the case with
                          club oriented scenes generally - the records as is only give part of
                          the flavour of the aural experience in the club, even discounting the
                          lights, dancers and drugs and the pa.

                          bryan

                          ps. i live in la, and if anyone knows of such a radio show out here,
                          please inform.
                        • Jason Witherspoon
                          ... I dunno-- a comp like _Family Planning_ really points to an outer edge for the whole 2 Step vibe-- or is that comp more shiki shiki ? -- Jason Witherspoon
                          Message 12 of 30 , Apr 7, 2001
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                            At 11:06 AM -0700 4/6/01, Ryan Whitehead wrote:
                            >But
                            >today it's mostly 2 Step Garage which, though a guilty pleasure of mine, is
                            >VERY conservative--morally, philosophically, musically, etc.

                            I dunno-- a comp like _Family Planning_ really points to an outer
                            edge for the whole 2 Step vibe-- or is that comp more "shiki shiki"?

                            --


                            Jason Witherspoon
                            ICQ #62837760

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                          • Jess Harvell
                            ... Yeah...which is why most of these musics have yet to dent the American pop scene...rock crits are too blindered by devotion to the album format, deriving
                            Message 13 of 30 , Apr 7, 2001
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                              >i find this is the case with
                              >club oriented scenes generally - the records as is only give part of
                              >the flavour of the aural experience in the club, even discounting the
                              >lights, dancers and drugs and the pa.
                              >
                              Yeah...which is why most of these musics have yet to dent the American pop
                              scene...rock crits are too blindered by devotion to the album format,
                              deriving "meaning" from music in the standard, approved, literary way...and
                              many tracks which can sound amazing "en mix" sound pitiable heard in
                              isolation...so much of my favorite jungle (of the jump-up/hardstep variety)
                              sounds thin and smallish as tracks...a sing songy bassline and a million
                              Amen variations...dancehall even goes one step further...all those hundreds
                              of tracks with a simple variation on the same riddim, like
                              "doorslam"...dancehall radio shows in the US, at least the ones I've heard
                              on NYC's Hot 97 and Philly's Power 99, tend to sound more like a pirate or a
                              live mix: rowdy, party in studio vibe, if not "mixing" per se...certainly
                              more energy than yer average MOR station...I think all music...the further
                              it moves away from its "intended" (the club, the concert hall, the tightly
                              focused pair of headphones) loses something, either in sound or vibe or
                              both...and home listening of any sort is usually an approximation...

                              -sprout

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                            • Ed Lynch-Bell
                              Speaking of Lee Perry. Has anyone written a good bio on him? Ed -- Ed Lynch-Bell mailto:dali@zerointegrity.co.uk http://www.zerointegrity.co.uk/ ICQ:100711886
                              Message 14 of 30 , Apr 9, 2001
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                                Speaking of Lee Perry. Has anyone written a good bio on him?

                                Ed
                                --
                                Ed Lynch-Bell
                                mailto:dali@...
                                http://www.zerointegrity.co.uk/
                                ICQ:100711886
                                tel:(+39) 0348 855 8586
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