I & I Soundsystem travel the streets of Los Angeles, putting out good vibes and putting smiles on faces with their modified ice cream van turned dub mobile.
Reggae singer, musician and producer Ras Perez lives in Berlin, Germany, and hails from the village of Grand Bay on the Caribbean island of Dominica. He is one of several Dominica musicians living in Berlin, including Tikiman and Ras Donovan, who have been deeply influential in the Berlin reggae scene. Ras Perez talks to Irie Up about his early years in Dominica, the changes from calypso to reggae, the infamous Dread Laws, and the humour at the heart of his music.
This issue, Irie Up speaks to Dandelion Sound from Bavaria in the south of Germany, an original and independent crew who are carrying forward the soundsystem tradition with their own handcrafted equipment, their own style and plenty of warmth and humour to the reggae scene.
The London-based MC Brother Culture is one of the most active MCs on the reggae circuit. Regularly travelling to work with new and established sound crews, he has watched the styles and fashions of reggae change over the years, from his early days with the Twelve Tribes organisation to the fusion styles now popular in reggae. While he is best known as an MC rooted in the UK steppers style, he’s also recorded with grime, hip-hop, jungle, drum and bass and dubstep producers. Recently, he sat down with IRIE UP magazine to set the record straight.
Sugar Minott is one of the foundation artists and producers of reggae music from roots to dancehall and raggamuffin, with a string of famous hits from ‘Vanity’ to ‘Herbsman Hustling’. He’s also been one of the most active independent promoters of young singers through his own record labels and soundsystems. He’s one of the artists who stayed a yard, and today he still lives in the Maxfield Park area in Kingston, Jamaica, close to his beloved Studio One.
If you’re a music fan, you will know the work of David Madden, even if you don’t know the name. He is the trumpeter who played on many of the great reggae hits of Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Beres Hammond, Dennis Brown, The Heptones, Culture and Gregory Isaacs. The list goes on and on. He was one of the founder members of the Revolutionary Zap Pow, the mighty Jamaican backing band that produced some of the funkiest, most groove-charged reggae music of the 1970s.
It’s the coldest winter in years, and snow is falling thickly as the Zion Train rolls into the yard at Yaam in Berlin. They are more than halfway through a fifty-date tour across Europe, and there’s no time to hang about. We’re all quickly inside, drinking tea to warm up, as the crew pace about, stretching their legs.