segunda-feira, julho 09, 2007

Soul from Jamdown

I just saw Les Rita Mitsouko again for the second time this year but this time in my hometown. It was a bit different. An outdoor concert even though it was raining all day but luckily the rain stopped just in time for the concert. The concert site was seats only which was not in line with the partyvibe on stage. Last time I saw them in Brussels it was a big party but now the (infra)structure prevented the crowd a bit from joining in.

Another concert I saw was Chromeo. The first time they played in Belgium. It was actually more of a short live set instead of a genuine concert. Way to short but really fine. Just strictly the hits up-tempo one after the other. Nice! They made the crowd dance on one of the last closing nights. The Mirano closes for the summer just like some other clubs.

I don’t think I pledged here before my love for Jamaican music. Apart from some randomly scattered tracks, Jamdown has not been going strong around here. Probably because I haven’t been listening much to Reggae, Dub or Dancehall lately in contrast with an absolute overkill a couple of years back. Not that I lost interest but tastes and (dis)likes often go in (big) waves. Reggae has always been popular but I’m getting the impression that more and more people find Reggae to be boring. Now that it’s getting stylish or even hip to say one likes Country & Western it’s Reggae which is getting’ the sack.
What can I say. It’s a larger than life cliché to state that Reggae is laidback dope fiend music but all clichés have a element of truth in them. And it’s true that Jamaicans are not that keen on original material but on the other hand the many ‘versions’ of other people’s material they come up with, often reveal a unique original point of view. It helps when you start to see the entire Jamaican output as one collective effort and expression of a common state of being. A vast body of work still in progress. And one simply can’t overlook the sheer amount and quality of the vocal prowess this tiny island has to offer. I regard Jamaican music at it’s best as some pretty soulfull stuff.

Time to give some proof. In 2001 there was a compilation from Blood & Fire focusing on the soul side of Jamaica: darker than Blue – Soul From Jamdown 1973/1980.

Freddie McGregor - Get Involved
101 John Holt - For The Love Of You
102 Tinga Stewart - Why Can't We Live Together (extended dub)

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