CHANT DOWN BABYLON
Two recent albums have caught my attention for being honest-to-goodness appropriations of Jamaican dancehall/roots/dub reggae, produced by white British electronic music producers acknowledging the debt of reggae's sonic palette on electronic forms of dance music.
The Bug's new album "Pressure"
on Richard D. James's Rephlex label, and Sandoz' (Richard H. Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire) "Chant To Jah"
on Soul Jazz both mark bold forays into dancehall rhythms and dub soundscapes, forecasting what could be the beginning of a more direct fixation by geeky electronic producers on reggae's innovations over the past several decades.
Though tempted to resist the "watering-down" of authentic Jamaican forms of music, I have to admit that I've been anxiously awaiting the type of fusion embodied in these two records. It is really quite fantastic to hear dancehall liberated from the rules of economy that govern current reggae records, and exploited for a fresh source of interesting rhythms to deploy on ravey dancefloors the world over (much like UK garage producers have been doing for the past several years).
Mp3 clips from The Bug - Pressure
Thief of Dreams
Or try here
Mp3 Clips from Sandoz - Chant to Jah
Straight Forward Rasta
Or try here