Friday, June 22, 2012

Reggae and Caribbean Music

Cover of "Blackboard Jungle"

The sin of the western experience of Jamaican music is the use of the term Reggae, as this album contains no reggae music at all. It's electronic, it's jam-band, it's toasting, and it's the history of Jamaican music up to that point.

Listening to the record it's striking just how close this comes to a minimalist/ambient record, the only real difference is the use of organic instruments and tape splicing as opposed to programming.

It takes a couple of times of listening to Blackboard Jungle Dub just to get use to the left channel / right channel / center channel mixing, which, while marvelous in itself, distracts from the music (at least on headphones).

On Side B we see where Perry would quickly be going: random/nonsense sounds over lazy, thumping tracks, vocals fading in and out ... giving the listener the feel of forward progression when really the tracks spin in circles (I mean that as a complement).

Can it function as background music? Absolutely, and that's not a jab, it's more to illustrate the grooves and the trancey-ness of it all. But it is also engaging head music, with plenty to offer a devoted set of ears.

J.'s Review: Multiple Positions