Walshy Fire stated that “Jamaican artists are on the verge of creating a new genre” in a recent interview. This claim warranted further exploration so we went in on the topic.
Before analyzing today’s music we reviewed the many genres that Jamaica has created. That amazing history includes Mento, Ska, Rock Steady, Reggae, Dub and Dancehall. Reggae sub-genres Nyahbingi, lover’s rock, and rub-a-dub are also popular styles.
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There was a peak in dancehall popularity in the early 2000s followed by a decline in quality reggae. At that time vinyl formats transitioned to CD. Then CDs went out and digital downloads came in. DJs started using laptops to play music and consumers turned to personal electronics. This transitional period led to what we call the reggae revival.
The current global dancehall and reggae revival movements are creating genre-bending trends. Artists like Protoje, Chronixx, Kabaka Pyramid, Jesse Royal, Damian Marley, and Koffee are synonymous with such trends.
Based on our analysis there either is a new emerging genre, or the concept of genres is simply dead. Distinctions between genres have become blurred and young audiences around the world are embracing that change.
Lord Fly with Dan Williams – Medley of Jamaican Mento
This mix features reggae’s vocal harmony groups from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
I took it back to the roots on this one. I focused on songs with an impressive vocal arrangement. This is a specific selection of songs with male singers harmonizing together.
I featured The Wailers, mostly from the “Catch A Fire” album. That album has that very dry, grassroots sound. This was before instrumentation such as horn sections and electric guitars were added. Before the female energy of the I-Threes was added.
The mix also featured some of The Heptones‘ Studio One era hits. I dropped in some original Israel Vibration before they split. Other groups featured are The Techniques, The Abyssinians, The Gladiators, The Sensations, The Mighty Diamonds, and The Silvertones. You also hear songs from Lloyd Parks and We the People, The Sharks, The Royals, The Cables, and The Flames.
Listen to those names and you know these brothers were from a different time. These vocal groups created some of the most beautiful music and the most powerful songs. You feel their passion because of the emphasis conveyed within the harmonies. There was something special about those days.
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Its the sweet soulful sound of great reggae music! If you enjoy this, check out episode 74. It’s entitled “The Greatest Reggae Bands of All Time (not including the Wailers).” That show features Aswad, Steel Pulse, Third World, Israel Vibration, Black Uhuru, and Inner Circle. Similar material is on The Studio One tribute episodes: 55 and 56.
It’s a new season of the podcast! I am back in full effect with new shows coming out every week until the end of the year. Thank you so much for listening. If it’s your first time, this is a livication to you, the reggae lover.
Whether you know the songs you hear on this show or not, my goal is that you feel uplifted after listening. I want you to feel joyous and happy. The music should help you to transmute any negative energy into positive. You should enter a different frame of mind via the therapeutic mixes and level up.
For booking information or to sponsor this podcast, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to everybody listening from around the world. I love that you get to tune in and listen to me doing what I love most. We are sharing a vibe and keeping this music alive. Until next time, have a great week. One love!!