"With the roots worldview, the logic was often questionable, but going to reggae sound systems, the feeling of spiritual uplift there was undeniable. That yearning for a better world, and questioning of the system, it made your hairs stand up on end".
"Hear me now brothers. In this time... You've got to keep conscious. Woah-oh"
The tracks on this CD are both modern and traditional. Musically, the structures are virtually identical to those used in Jamaica since the 70s, but the sounds and productions have been updated for the 21st Century.
Lyrically, there are a few things to get to grips with. On the surface it's pretty strange for a white heathen like myself to be putting together a collection of tunes which are pretty much all by ardent Rastafarians. However, putting the question of the divinity of Haile Selassie aside for a moment, most of the themes on this CD are timeless, and therefore bang up to date.
If you are after a message, you will hear it here. "Consciousness" can just mean staying awake, keeping your eyes and ears open. For me, that also entails some sort of awareness of the inadequacies of the system (or Babylon, if you prefer).
Whatever your political or spiritual outlook, it would be hard to dismiss the lyrics challenging gun culture or bling bling. Similarly, returning to Africa or evangelising about the power of Jah may not be my chosen mission in life, but the quest for a better world, a feeling of solidarity, and the desire to overthrow oppressors is something a lot of people who listen to this may be able to identify with.
Philosophising aside, this is music for head and heart, body and soul. Crank up the volume and it let take you over. This is a live mix. All tracks are JA 7" except the first. Hence the atmospheric crackles and clicks...
John Eden - May 2003
1. capleton - intro (vp)
with thanks to danny for donating tracks 25 & 32
Thanks also to Marc D of Bassnation UK for being the original online host of the mix.
R.I.P. David "Scotty" Scott 1951-2003