Augustus Pablo’s music has assured him an everlasting place in reggae history, but with his son Addis stepping forward in similar fashion, the spotlight has recently returned to the melodica master. It’s timely then for Giullame Méténier’s Soul Sugar outfit to release a re-cut of the 1977 classic ‘East of the River Nile’ that captures the psychedelic essence of Pablo’s tune and turns it up to eleven.
Intro note: This interview was originally published in Irie Up issue twelve.
How do you describe reggae artist Martin Campbell? His music is authentically rootsy, his lyrics are properly prophetic, and with his Jamaican accent and rootical timbre, his fans assume that he’s a Rastafarian. Some know him, after one of his songs, as ‘The Rootsman’. Yet he’s not comfortable being labelled and in his own words, he’s not an easy man to pigeon hole. He simply trods his own path. read more »
Every so often, the ‘Occupy’ movement comes to life again, and lately it’s connected with the effort to reclaim Pinnacle, the near 500 acres of land outside Kingston that was once the preserve of Leonard Howell and his followers. Anyone wishing to support the reclamation of Pinnacle can write a letter to the Jamaica Gleaner or Jamaican Observer. Like many newspapers, they’ll take equal or greater notice of letters from overseas and even from non-Jamaicans. Although much commentary about Pinnacle and Leonard Howell stresses the ‘self-sufficient’ aspect of Pinnacle, it was far more than self-sufficient. The influence of Pinnacle was enormous; suffice to say that the worldwide reggae movement is indebted to the far-reaching influence of Pinnacle. So we owe a debt of gratitude to supporting those now fighting to preserve and re-establish the Pinnacle settlement.
Do a little reading and research and then get in touch with the JA papers, and let them know the influence of Pinnacle worldwide. Here’s a good place to start, with Helene Lee’s documentary ‘The First Rasta’:
Write to the Observer using firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Gleaner using this online form:
It strikes us how many international bredren and sistren worked to make this a reality … from JA to Japan, Holland to Poland and all around. Yes once again we see the ideas take time to go over, but here’s Danny Pepperseed taking to Micah Shemiah, with the Mau Mau art in the background, shouts out to Dancehall Masakrah and Cornerstone from Japan, the Dub Club in Kingston, and talking about the vinyl revival. For years Irie Up has been promoting vinyl and not from any nostalgic viewpoint. Micah mentions the degradation of the Jamaican vinyl business and the benefits of pressing in Japan, and you all know how much care the Japanese lavish on making vinyls (even the bootlegs, but that’s another story…). The vinyl business can create work for many, from pressing plants to distributors to shops and selectors.
Here’s the first in what’s to be a series of short documentaries about reggae in Jamaica. There’s no end of dispute about whether this is a ‘revival’ at all, or a continuity, but there’s little argument that the Jamaican establishment has never really embraced reggae music or culture. So it’s great to see this vibe going on in Jamaica, from Dub Club in Kingston to Reggae Mountain to Jamnesia Surf Club at Bull Bay. As producer Mikie Bennett remarks, there’s little corporate money coming in to support this. Ganja and love have kept the scene going; 90% of the promoters that support the reggae scene in America “are ganjaman”. Only now, the ganjamen don’t have to stay underground. Something greater bubbling? The ganja industry in America is already massive, and if you’ve read the previous posts you’ll know about the potential for things like Bitcoin that are slowly creeping into the mainstream.
This is part one of ‘Dis Revival Ting’ by DSE Production.