It has always been my belief that people want authenticity in their music regardless of the venue. As a DJ, I have had the privilege of performing at high-end and hole-in-the-wall venues, but this did not mean that I had to switch up my playlist.
As a party builds, and the crowd begins to increase in size, it’s important for the DJ to control the vibe and energy in the room by not starting out too fast. A gradual increase of the pace sets a solid foundation for the energetic climax later in the night that should take place.
To illustrate this, I have curated some audio of a live set recorded at one of my first residencies in the Buckhead party district of Atlanta during the early 2000’s – when nightlife carried on until 4am in the city. This was the hottest attraction in the city at the ultra sexy upscale venue, Kream – the same one mentioned by Jermaine Dupri in the song “Welcome to Atlanta.”
It was important for me to give a really organic representation of how a reggae dancehall sound system controls a dance, not only for the entertainment of the patrons but also because I wanted my guest DJs to feel comfortable enough to go hard with the crowd when it was their turn to take control. Once the foundation is set with a good “early-warm,” it’s then much easier and much more likely that the dance will erupt in excitement later on.
My set commences with strictly veteran singers from the 1970’s and 1980’s like John Holt, Sugar Minott, Nitty Gritty, Dennis Brown, The Heptones and Barrington Levy. After about 40 minutes, selections from the 1990’s could be heard with the first Everton Blender tunes, Luciano, and a Garnett Silk mega mix. Listen as the MC, SuperPEC welcomes several people to the dance, and a crowd gathers for the ensuing festivities. Listen as I carefully advance the pace and turn up the heat while watching the dancefloor start to bubble.
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The original styles of the most popular riddims in dancehall history are all right here in this mix. Most of the mega hits from the 1980s and 1990s dancehall era’s were remade digital versions of the classics you will hear in this mix.
The Greatest Studio One Riddims in Dancehall Mix by Highlanda Sound, Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 56
If you downloaded Ultimate Studio One Riddims – Reggae Lover Podcast Episode 55, then this will be a great companion. This segment is more uptempo and even more iconic in content with no songs repeated from the previous mix (except my Little Pinchers dubplate which is on a different riddim). If you should enjoy, please do leave a comment and share.
1. Amazing Sound – Mikey General (dubplate)
2. Love is A Feeling – Earl Sixteen
3. Give Praise – Luciano (dubplate)
4. Heptones Gonna Fight – The Heptones
5. Give Love A Try – Barry Brown
6. Here I Stand – Carlton Livingston
7. Pretty Looks Isn’t All – The Heptones
8. The Girl is Mine – Frankie Paul
9. Never Give Up – Sugar Minott
10. Compliments to Studio One – Michigan and Smiley
11. Babylon Bridge – Dillinger
12. Bobby Babylon – Freddie McGregor
13. No Call Me Cracky – Lone Ranger
14. Take a Ride – Al Campbell
15. Truths and Rights – Johnny Osbourne
16. Automatic – Lone Ranger
17. Created By the Father – Dennis Brown
18. New Millennium – Wayne Marshall
19. I’m Just a Guy – Alton Ellis
20. Vanity – Sugar Minott
21. Rub a Dub Style – Michigan and Smiley
22. Highlanda Kill Your Sound – Warrior King (dubplate)
23. Ram Dance Master – Brigadier Jerry
24. She Gone She Gone – Linval Thompson
25. Program – Frankie Paul
26. You A Fool Boy – Angela Prince
27. Deliver Us – Half Pint
28. Rougher Yet – Slim Smith
29. Come To Me – The Jay Tees
30. Our Love – Yami Bolo
31. Love Bump – Lone Ranger
32. No Say So – Little John
33. Feel Like Jumping – Marcia Griffiths
34. Greatest Sound In The Dance – XO (dubplate)
35. Highlanda Run Yah So – Little Pinchers (dubplate)
36. Highlanda Bus – Sluggy Ranks (dubplate)
37. Render Your Heart – Sluggy Ranks
38. Armageddon Time – Willie Williams
39. Lend Me The Sixteen – Johnny Osbourne
40. Nice Up the Dance – Michigan and Smiley
41. Keep On Moving – Johnny Osbourne
42. Never Let Go – Slim Smith
43. I Shall Sing – Marcia Griffiths
44. The Answer – Lone Ranger
45. No Regrets – Carlton Livingston
47. Can’t Buy My Love – Johnny Osbourne
48. Consider Me – Jennifer Lara
49. I Don’t Know Why – Doreen Shaffer
50. No War – Johnny Osbourne
51. Jah Jah Children – Sugar Minott
52. Far East – Barry Brown
53. Jam It Up – Carlton Livingston
This Reggae Lover Podcast episode opens with the leader of the reggae revival Protoje explaining that he makes music from his heart and not for the charts. Sizzla can be heard begging “Please do not mash up the dance.” George Nooks and Mikey Spice tell stories about having a good time in the dancehall. Alborosie excerpts that Reggae and rubadub music still rock the dancehall to this day.
Garnett Silk compares music to the rod that Moses walked with as he led the Father’s people to the promised land. Luciano sings about the many positive effects of reggae music on the body and mind. Richie Stephens and U-Roy sing out about the nicest times when real reggae music used to play.
Bryan Art describes the love and confidence that overcomes one when entering the dancehall. Christopher Martin paints the picture of a reggae road block where people are dancing in the streets, creating the perfect chill spot. Crooner Kashief Lindo shares a bit of his personal story on the song “Music Is A Part Of Me.”
Steel Pulse, Dubtonic Kru, Gramps Morgan, XO, Hero and Richie Spice all give their take on why Reggae music is so good and what it means to them. Busy Signal goes in about how everybody smiles and unites when positive reggae music is played.
Gentleman teams with Sugar Minott to reminisce about the good old days when there was no drama and the musical foundation imparted love and good vibes. Inner Circle alongside The Reggae Wave sing in defense of the genre.
In this episode, I present some essential Roots reggae cuts, mostly from the 1970s. These songs deal with the everyday lives and aspirations of the artists concerned, including the spiritual side of Rastafari and the honoring of God.
The featured artists provide social commentary and deliver lyrical themes including spirituality, resistance to government, black pride and repatriation.
You will hear Studio One classics, gems from Tuff Gong, Exterminator and Volcano, plus quintessential Trojan recordings, among others. The full track list is posted below. Enjoy the musical mix!
1 Freddie McGregor – Rastaman Camp
2 Bob Marley – Africa Unite
3 Black Uhuru – Sensimilia
4 Sammy Dread – Road Block
5 Hugh Mundell – Rasta Have The Handle
6 The Gladiators – Easy Squeeze
7 Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
8 Black Uhuru – Plastic Smile
9 Gregory Isaacs – Slave Master
10 John Holt – Up Park Camp
11 John Holt – Tribal War
12 Barrington Levy – No Fuss Or Fight
13 Jacob Miller – Tired Fe Lick Weed Inna Bush
14 Barrington Levy – Do Good
15 Barrington Levy – Murderer
16 Carlton Livingston – 100 Weight of Collie Weed
17 Bob Marley – Forever Loving Jah
18 Bob Marley – Them Belly Full
19 Bob Marley – Rebel Music
20 Don Carlos – Natty Dread Have the Credentials
21 Half Pint – Political Fiction
22 John Holt – Police In Helicopter
23 Jacob Miller – Tenement Yard
24 Gregory Isaacs – Border
25 Yabby You & The Prophets – Babylon A Fall
26 Yabby You & Tony Tuff – Falling Babylon
27 Burning Spear – Follow Marcus Garvey
28 U Brown – Jah Is My Father Still
29 Delroy Wilson – Better Must Come
30 Dennis Alcapone & Delroy Wilson – It Must Come
31 Barrington Levy – Teach The Youth
32 Cocoa Tea – Rasta Man
33 Sugar Minott – Give Me Jah Jah
34 U-Roy – Gorgon Wise
35 Johnny Osborne – Truths and Rights
36 Bob Marley – Time Will Tell
37 Burning Spear – Columbus
38 Freddie McGregor – Bobby Babylon
39 Johnny Osbourne – Jah Promise
40 Sugar Minott – Jah Jah Children
41 Johnny Osborne – Jah Righteous Plan