I’m pushed this week and totally disorganised, so I’ve not really thought this through. I’ll apologise now for the shambling attempt to rush out this post…!
I have a pretty reasonable reggae collection; bigger than I realised actually, when I pulled 3 boxes of vinyl out of the loft at the weekend only to find the majority of it was reggae and rap (intermingled with some dodgy acid jazz which hasn’t really dated very well!). Despite listening to a variety of reggae over the years, I’ve always associated Mikey Dread with The Clash or as a producer rather than performer. I don’t remember how I stumbled across this record, called World War III, which he released in 1980. I love the fact that he delivers his warning messages with such an upbeat sound. There’s a lovely dub feel to the whole thing, yet it’s not full on, head-pounding dub and he uses his voice to good effect, changing his style across the tracks (there’s an almost Eek-a-Mouse moment on one track and an almost Screaming Target moment on another). I really like it. I know reggae isn’t for everyone – I know plenty of people who can’t get on with it at all, but this is accessible. I’m glad I found it.
It’s interesting isn’t it, when you think you know a genre quite well but it still has the capacity to surprise you by throwing up unknowns? Has this ever happened to you? There are probably hundreds more reggae artists you can recommend to me who I’ve never heard of (especially newer ones).
Yet again ‘Spillers I come to you to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge. What can you tell me about all this and who else should I be tracking down?