Friday, May 07, 2010

For A White Agnostic Who Doesn't Smoke Pot, I Sure Listen to a Lot of Reggae

I've been listening to a lot of reggae lately. I finally bought Lee Perry's Ape-ology, which collects his Superape, Roast Fish and Corn Bread, and Return of the Superape LPs. It's two CDs of the dankest, muddiest, deepest dub and reggae, the kind of music that you get a contact high from just listening to.
This video for "Roast Fish and Corn Bread" lets you see the master at work.

I also got Serge Gainsbourg's reggae album, Aux Armes Et Cetera. It was originally released in the late 70s, but got a rerelease in 2004 with an extra disc of new dub and deejay versions. It's sort of horrible, sort of awesome. Gainsbourg isn't exactly a reggae singer, but he's backed by Sly and Robbie, so it sounds good. His reworking of the French national anthem evidently caused riots when it came out.

I also got Madlib's Medicine Show #4, which is a mix of dub and deejay tunes. I'm loving it.

I was also listening to the two Joe Gibbs Discomix albums, which got me interested in deejay/dancehall, so I downloaded Major Laser's album from Emusic. It's a project from Diplo and Switch, the guys who did "Paper Planes," working with dancehall deejays. It's noisy, obnoxious, raunchy, and amazing, dancehall meets glitchy Bmore club music.

My biggest coup of the week, though, was figuring out who sang "Ring the Alarm." I had heard it sampled by Big Audio Dynamite and Fugazi, but I never knew the source. Turns out it is Tenor Saw, and there is an entire album (Stalag 17,19-20) with just that riddim. It's definitely a classic.

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