Friday, 8 September 2017

Jamaica Jamaica!

Earlier this year I was asked to contribute a mix to run alongside the Jamaica Jamaica show - a substantial exhibition tracing the evolution of reggae in Jamaica, held in the Philharmonie de Paris, in the Parc de la Villette in the north east of the city.

The location had a special resonance for me because some years ago the i-ality hi fi crew and I had set up our sound system in the park, soon to be approached and asked to cease and desist by a very polite security guard. He pointed to a concrete tower block on the periphery of the park.

"See that?" he said. "It's a cité of rastas. If they hear you playing reggae down here, they will all go mental."

Anyway, fifteen or so years later, Radio Propaganda's Franck Haderer who was curating the mixes generously said I could put pretty much whatever I wanted on the mix, so I recorded a bunch of my current favourite tunes and stuck them together and here they are for your listening pleasure.


Heptones - Mr President (Upsetters)
Dave Barker - What A Confusion (Upsetter)
Maytones / U. Brown - Too Much Pollution (GG's)
The Uniques - There's A Train (Gemini)
Dave Robinson - Redemption Time (El Speed Way)
Joe Axumite - No Equal Rights In Babylon (City Line)
Cultured Few - Better Dub (Feelgood)
King Sounds and the Isrealites - You Are My Pilot Dub (Moving Forward)
Trevor Junior - Chaplin (Stereo Pride)
Michael Palmer - Different Strokes (Tasha)
Junior Cat - Skengdon Bring Reggae Music (Skengdon)
Corna Stone - In This Town (Supreme)
Freddie McGregor - Hungry Dub (Thunder Bolt)
Dennis Brown - Shashamani Dub (New Name Muzik)
Brian and Tony Gold - Ram Dancehall (Greensleeves)
Dennis Brown - Sunshine Dub (Yvonne's Special)
Delroy Williams - Stop The Fighting (Rockers)
Fade 2 - Enemies Version (Dubplate)
Berhe Raza / Nick Manasseh - Kule Dub (Eastern Connection)

The music really speaks for itself, but a few months later I had the pleasure of going to the exhibition and took some photos, so here they are in lieu of further commentary. (There were many other things of interest, including instruments from the Black Ark, films, cultural artefacts and ephemera of one sort and another.)

The exhibition is over now, but the catalogue by Sébastien Carayol and Thomas Vendryes is available and worth purchasing.

Marumba boxes.

Trouble dus cum pon horse bak but he dus go way pon foot.

Life is one big road with lots of sign.

This True Nite of Universal Love.

Amp from Ilawi's Jah Love Musik.

King Tubby's record crate.

Rod of Correction of Michael Manley ("Joshua"), instrumental in the 1972 election campaign.

Peter Tosh's nunchucks.

Original artwork, the famous Greensleeves image from JA to Westway, Tony McDermott.

Sizzla typography.

Lee Perry's minidisc trousers, having outlasted most other uses of the medium.

A portrait by Scratch.

Old 7" sleeves.

(Big ups: Franck Newskool and all i-ality crew; Ras Kush; Hugo Mendez; Franck Haderer; Sheba Sound; Jason Lucky 7; valued but anonymous record vendors.)