yardie's reggae collection - artist page



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1977 - Trojan - studio - discs:1

Africa, as a whole concept referring to the former origins, had always been a cornerstone inside the Jamaican people's hearts and minds. The continent and its meanings, often gaining the status of myth, are part of the history of the island and consequently of its music. What should be discussed exensively, and ofcourse this is not the proper place, is the fact that there are very few recordings centered on the direct encounter of the Jamaican sounds with the African ones. Nyahbingi music was seldom recorded in a studio and when that happened it was centered on two seminal figures: Count Ossie (with his The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari) and Ras Michael (with his The Sons Of Negus). When those ensambles played they were strictly focused on the Jamaican Nyahbingi and when it happened to procede to new musical territories, Jazz was the prominent choice. The results were sometimes marvellous. But what is very intersting is that up to 1977 no producer ever recorded a proper musical encounter between Jamaica and Africa. A turn, at least for Lee Scratch Perry's tumultuos days, happened when two Congolese artists from Zaire came to the Black Ark Studio. Why they happened there? The legend says that these artists female manager brought them to Kingston to record at Dynamics Studios, but once in town she flew away with the money leaving them on their own. Seke Molenga and Kalo Kawongolo (their names) started to move across Kingston. They met Perry who brought them inside the Black Ark. A different story says that their meeting with Perry was scheduled. Whatever the story, Perry recorded the duo with as a result a mixture of Soukous (Zaire sounds,) with the lyrics sung in "Lingala" (from Congo), and Roots music. The result was briefly and partially released in France in 1979. The present release has all the eight original tracks recorded at the Black Ark. This is a small pearl that represent Perry's musical genius and open mindness: Africa straight in the yard!

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yardie-reggae.com - 2007