Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Digi-Dancehall

Ok so as promised, I'm gonna keep this blog active and keep uploading mixes--just not at the pace that I was keeping up last year. The first mix is one that I should've gotten around to as one of the Year of Mixtapes tapes, but I am just getting done now: Digi-Dancehall.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, "dancehall" referred to the kind of reggae that got played at soundclashes & dancehalls--basically the same as standard-issue reggae, but with a more driving beat and a bigger focus on DJ/MC vocals (the precursor to rap), as opposed to your traditional sung reggae vocals.
In 1985, this whole reggae/dancehall dichotomy was radically redefined when Prince Jammy (and other producers) introduced electronic instrumentation into dancehall music. Suddenly "dancehall" came to connote electronic reggae (in addition to the DJ / toasting business). 
This synthing-up of reggae music in the '80s is the direct ancestor of today's UK bass music genres like jungle, UK garage, dubstep, UK funky, grime, and the like: disco & house are where all electronic dance music ultimately comes from, but the electrification of reggae is how urban Britons were able to relate to the concept of electronic dance music, and adopt house music as their own in the first place, and thereby invent raving. Reggae music still informs the aesthetic choices of urban British musicians more than the American dance styles that kicked the whole thing off.
Anyway, "Digi-Dancehall" is the term for the characteristic style of dancehall from those first few years of experimentation with electronic instrumentation (circa 1985-1990, before the whole Tin Pan thing took over). A lot of people requested this tape, so here it is!

  1. Tenor Saw; Roll Call (Power House, 1985)
  2. Tony Tuff; Catch A Fire (Witty's, 1985) 
  3. King Kong; Trouble Again (Jammy's, 1986) 
  4. Johnny Osbourne; Gangster Sound (Jammy's, 1987)
  5. Shinehead; Billie Jean (Hawkeye, 1984) 
  6. Shinehead; Mama Used to Say (Hawkeye, 1984)
  7. Nitty Gritty; One Auntie Lu Lu (Power House, 1985)
  8. Pinchers; Got to Be Me (Jammy's, 1986)
  9. Tonto Irie; Every Posse Get Ready (Jammy's, 1985)
  10. Super Cat; Trash & Ready (Jammy's, 1985)
  11. Johnny Osbourne; Buddy Bye (Jammy's, 1985)
  12. Sugar Minott; Jamming in the Streets (Jammy's, 1985)
  13. John Wayne; Call Di Police (Jammy's, 1985)
  14. Tenor Saw; Pumpkin Belly (Jammy's, 1985)
  15. Wayne Smith; Under Me Sleng Teng (Jammy's, 1985) 
  16. Lee Van Clif; Get Mi Grammy (Witty's, 1985)
  17. Wayne Smith; Come Along (Jammy's, 1985)
  18. Super Beagle; Dust A Sound Boy (Tehcniques, 1985) 
  19. Courtney Melody; Ninja Mi Ninja (Firehouse, 1988) 
  20. Home T feat. Shabba Ranks & Cocoa Tea; Pirates Anthem (Music Works, 1988) 
  21. Shabba Ranks; Champion Lover (Music Works, 1991) 
  22. Flourgon; Big Batty Gal (Techniques, 1988) 
  23. Daddy Lizard; A Fi Fly Out (Techniques, 1988)
  24. Courtney Melody; Bad Boy (Techniques, 1988)
  25. Shabba Ranks; Get Up & Move (Super Power, 1991) 
  26. Pinchers; Agony (Jammy's, 1986)
  27. Foxy Brown; All My Love (RAS, 1989)
  28. Frankie Paul; I'll Take You Up Girl (Greensleeves, 1991)
  29. Pinchers; Magnet to Steel (Jammy's, 1986)
  30. Junior Reid; Youth Man (Nyam Up, 1994) 
  31. Bounty Killer; Roots, Reality & Culture (Jammy's, 1992) 
  32. Johnny Osbourne; No Ice Cream Sound (Jammy's, 1992) 
  33. Tony Curtis & Jigsy King; My Sound A Murder (Stone Love, 1993) 
  34. Sanchez; You're Gonna Lose (Volcano, 1988)

12 comments:

  1. for those of you bound to ask which tracks are on which riddim:

    1: Queen Majesty
    2: Greetings (Witty's Version)
    3-4: Death in the Arena
    5-6: Get A Lick
    7: Stalag
    9-16: Sleng Teng
    17-18: Stalag
    19: Fever
    20-21: Champion Lover
    22-24: A Fi Fly Out
    25-26: Agony
    29-30: Revolution
    31-33: Real Rock

    There are some gaps in that...anybody care to fill 'em in? I'd love to find out what 27 is, for instance...

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  2. I LOVE MURDERBOT!!! L.A NEEDS U.....

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  3. well then put me in touch with some promoters out there!

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  4. DO I JUST GIVE THEM A LINK TO UR BLOG OR UR MYSPACE?

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  5. DO A GARAGE MIX!

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  6. hit 'em with a link to this blog, my myspace, and my email address
    chrissy [at] murderbot [dot] com

    Thanks!

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  7. Chrissy, absoulutely awesome again! Really, you should be made like DJ Laureate for the UN or something... but, but, where's Cutty Ranks The Stopper in this mix? As I recall, that was absolutely THE dancehall-warehouse party crossover track. Just pointing out, but anyway the mix is awesome vibes and history - been awhile since I heard the Shinehead, brings back great memories.

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  8. "The Stopper" was a later era, as the dancehall scene transitioned away from Digi and into Tin Pan. I also forgot to put it on my Tin Pan mix though...

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  9. Damn, ur right, ofcourse. My late80's memory is blurring into my early 90s memory - I wonder what made that happen? ;)

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  10. how can i download this? hit me on twitter @fireondemand bless up & thanks!

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  11. Dude just click the link that says "Chrissy Murderbot Digi-Dancehall Mixtape"

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  12. I'm from the Uk - old enough to remember and chrissy you are right - great blog not a step wrong yet

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