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Monday, 5 September 2011

Is it because I is a reggae fan?

For a few years I’ve been doing a regular little compilation CD for a select group of friends (ie a small pool of people I foist them on). I love every one immodestly. They’re full of banging tunes from the likes of Bovaflux, Sung Eun Kim, Friends Of the Jitney, the De Ndirande Pitch Crooners, Tyvek and many more from some lesser-known artists.

What’s on ‘em? Er, they’re varied. Quite a few obscure artists (to most people), a few well-known ones. Twee sounds, lovely grindcore (one of my mum’s particular favourites), 20-30s blues, punk and garage, ska, some dub, a dash of jazz, a few oddities, tunes from Africa, India etc. It’s not O2 arena-filling stuff but it’s not meant to be. No-one’s going to like every single track (unless you share all of your DNA with me …), but there’s something there for every mixed-up kid from the wrong side of town …

Except, what’s this! There’s reggae on there. I’m getting a steady grumble about this. It’s like I’ve included an excessive amount of Stock Aitken Waterman, or too much Red Hot Chili Peppers. But reggae’s the problem. Two or three tracks out of 80 minutes and this gets singled out.

I reckon I could produce a CD with 78 minutes of feedback squeals (Neil Young’s Arc given a distorto remix) and two minutes of Studio One and I’d get someone complaining about the reggae. White noise versus black music - no contest.

Oh mon, what's dis ting? If I was a proper white rasta I’d be sucking my teeth and blaming Babylon. As it is, I’ll just plough on with my musical miscellany, ignoring the reggae refusniks. (The dub deniers!) And I’ll leave the last word to my dread bredren Melinda Hughes. 

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