MINDER 069 - SAM HENRY
With Minder 069 we finally ‘tick-off’ an important musical style that has never been covered, here before. For long enough we have tried to cover as many different genres and styles as possible, with the intention of encouraging people to listen outside of their box and find something new. We have benefited from this as much as anyone else and will therefore continue to try and find new DJ’s and producers to help us along the way. It was after a chance encounter in Edinburgh, during the summer, that Sam Henry agreed to help us finally post a Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae mix.
Like many genres and styles the difference between the three is sometimes blurred because one evolved from the other as different musicians came aboard and added something throughout the eras. It all began with Ska in the 1950’s. As American Jazz and R&B reached Jamaica, local musicians fused those styles with Calypso and other Caribbean styles to form Ska. Initially the big band format of Jazz was retained with Ska bands comprising of many talented Jazz musicians who would improvise solo’s as per their musical origins. The Jazz mentality also lead to many Ska instrumentals being recorded. These instrumentals, alongside other vocal less tracks are important to the culture as they helped spread the act of toasting and dub plates. Toasting is where someone would improvise a chant, talk or boast over a track. Sometimes they were political, sometimes they were funny and sometimes they were recorded to create special one off recordings where the music might be well know but the toasting would be a unique celebration a specific sound system.
As the 60’s rolled around, musicians began to experiment more. The bands got smaller and Ska gave way to the Rockstead style. Though not exclusively, Rocksteady could also be identified by its’ slower tempo as well as it reduced number of elements. Another clear indicator of the Rocksteady style is vocal harmonies and an all round more romantic sound. The newer Rocksteady musicians also lacked the traditional Jazz training of their predecessors, although many of the original Ska musicians adopted the style as they formed the new Rocksteady bands. This resulted in a simpler, more bass driven sound. It was in the late 60’s with this dominant bass sound that Reggae began to take shape. The lyrical content also became a lot tougher along with the bass line. Reggae is often used as a blanket term for Jamaican music, fairly or unfairly, Reggae music can often contain strong Ska and Rocksteady elements. This is why sometimes the lines between the styles are blurred as the only difference between a Rocksteady or Ska track and a Reggae track is that the later was recorded after 1968.
Fast forward to this weekend, Saturday the 26th of November to be exact and you’ll find Sam at the helm of Ruder Than Rude, a night he started in Aberdeen with his skinhead soul mate Scott Hutchison. Running for over a year now, Ruder Than Rude focuses on the rude boy and skinhead sounds of Jamaica and early Reggae. This time around they’ve invited along special guest Clark Swan of The Reggae Special - Dundee. So if you’re in or around Aberdeen and looking for some further listening, now is the time
Sydney, George and Jackie - Papa Was A Rolling Stone
First Generation - Give Him Up
Cables - Baby Why
Marcia Griffiths - Tell Me Now
King Cannon - Soul Pipe
Dave & Ansel Collins - Monkey Spanner
The Blues Busters - How Sweet It Is
Alton Ellis - La La Means I Love You
Jeanette Simpson - The Rain
Derrick Morgan - Seven Letters
The Maytones - Loving Reggay
The Versatiles - Children Get Ready
Baba Brooks - First Session
Dave & Ansel Collins - Double Barrel
Justin Hines & The Dominoes - Rub Up Push Up
The Skatalites - Guns Of Navarone
Dice The Boss - Your Boss DJ
Toots & The Maytals - 54-46, That's My Number
Toots & The Maytals - Time Tough
Desmond Dekker & The Aces - It Miek
Upsetters - Return Of Django
King Cannon - Fire Ball
The Pioneers - Let Your Yeah Be Yeah
Jimmy Cliff - The Harder They Come
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