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La Boom

4 May

Dusk + Blackdown

19 Feb

Rodney P

10 Jan

Violent/

12 Dec

Over the years Jamaica has seen much violence and power clashing. Starting from the early years as Spanish colony with the eradication of the Taino and Arawak tribes, then the British takeover and then finally independence in 1962 which led to violent outbreaks between the People’s National Party (PLP) and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).Both parties are said to be affiliated with Jamaican posses in Kingston, New York and other major cities of the world. Within Jamaica, these groups are very similar to gangs and also take on many such tasks as drug distribution and gunrunning. However there are also gangs that clearly state, that their motivation isn’t of political background. The gang leaders can supply the communities within their area of influence with jobs and housing, yet are expected to have positive results during the votes for the affiliated party.

The actual murder rates peaked in 2005 and thus were considered “highest in the world”.Since then murders have only slowly started to decline in total. One major factor among this rate is the strong homophobic drive within Jamaica, where openly being gay can lead to being shot in the street in broad daylight.
Another very important aspect is the deportation of Jamaican born US criminals back to their homeland. Due to this Jamaica has received many unwanted outlaws that have in addition lead to an increase of gang related violence.

There has been a tight bond between the US drug market, being one of the largest in the world and the Jamaican suppliers for a long time. Formerly Jamaica was well known for Marijuana, which has now been widely outdated by cocaine and crack.
Many traditional Reggae, Ska and even Dancehall artists have stated their disliking of this modern trend among the youth of Jamaica, yet are missing the influence to promote a change.
The original drug of the Rasta culture which was meant to create harmony, unity and love has been abandoned and other means determine the way of the younger generation today.

Pattern/

6 Dec

Music has been around for quite a while now. Ever since people came up with this magical power it has evolved and taken up many different shapes and forms. It has and still is being used in many different ways ranging from pure entertainment to being a mean of communication as well.

Since the everyday environment, surrounding us has a great impact on our development and even genetic expression I think there might actually be more to music than just a sound. Scientifically music or more generally sound consist of different waves at certain frequencies. Of course melodic harmonies in music are, as the word implies harmonious which however does not always need to be the case with every sound. Physics has shown that every body of mass has a certain individual frequency. These however are commonly not harmonious and usually base on a chaotic system due to the resonance and influence of other forces.  Experiments have been done on the impact of music and rhythm on brain waves thought which show that while listening to sound or music the brain reacts and “picks up” the rhythm in a way. Two people listening to the same melody or rhythm have shown very similar brain activity patterns. Based on this evidence one could come to the conclusion that sound and therefore music, as a form of harmonious sound can influence our brain activity and could alter our feelings, perception, or emotional state.

(http://www.nsi.edu/index.php?page=xii_music_and_language_perception)

Personally a goal I would like to meet, hand in hand with modern technology would be to create a “Playlist of my Days” in which I would have the perfect song for any occasion, emotional situation, mood etc. Of course this would be an endless endeavour with music changing and more and more novelties sprouting up every day as well as personally being confronted with new situations as well. Nevertheless it is worth a try, and so far it has done me nothing but good.

Let the “Playlist of your Days” become the “Soundtrack of your life” which can then be purchased at your funeral.

Here, again a Dub track I can highly recommend by the Artist Dubmatix entitled “Champion Sound”

Dubness/

5 Dec

The idea of a colorful truck or car advertising the newest fashionable sound of the streets seems awkward to many. A concept known to the Jamaican people as the so called “Sound Systems”. As diverse as these mediums may be in their appearance, they all serve one purpose – Publicize Sound! Blasting from what seem to be speakers made from scratch and amplified to suppress the rattling of the motors the sound reaches out to the people.

Sound systems were and still are quite often uniquely crafted by their owners in order for the listeners to easily be able to distinguish who is delivering the sound of the moment. Some well known system owners would supply the poorer regions and ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica with the newest sound, right from their speakers, right on the street. This innovation of marketing lead to the concept of mobile record shacks. Often the Sound Systems would be able to provide the people with the actual fresh vinyl as well.

Much of the Jamaican music genres are strongly influence by the concept of Sound System.

One of these genres that evolved from this modernization of “Roots and Culture” Reggae,Ska and Rocksteady is Dub formerly also known as Versions. The name derives from the mixing process in which the vocals are “dubbed out”. This leaves the listener with an intense sound. Dub is considered one of the more esoteric and fundamental genres Jamaica has to offer in that it makes use various effects and samples in order to create a surreal sound collage. Prevailing sounds are the echoing vocals, quivering guitar, distant brass and a heavy,soaking bass line. Leading Names of this genre are King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry for example.

The more modern versions of this can be heard in many diverse forms. From today’s more traditional Mad Professor to the completely new form of Digital Mystikz’ Dubstep all have carried on the Dub tradition. Many traditional samples have been used over and over again but have been re-mixed into more sophisticated Versions in which the artist have given them a sense of immortality.

A new and widely renowned talent of the Dub scene is a French Dj appearing as Kanka. I would consider his style strongly influence by the traditional Dub Tracks although he does make use of modern effects, samples and synthesizing methods which give his sound the unique touch. Sadly the Sound Systems are not there to promote this sound anymore which is why I strongly encourage people to listen to this…LOUD!