The second mix I ever did, now up at Mixcloud:
This was done in 2003, a transitional time for online music. By then most people I knew had the internet at home and/or work. But very few of us had broadband, and hosting was still fairly expensive. So the favoured means of distribution was burning mixes on CDR, making a nice sleeve, and then giving them to mates in person or sending them through the post. I actually prefer that to uploading and downloading, but it seems very quaint today.
Promotion was done through internet forums like Uk-Dance, Urban75 and the like. People got really into it – possibly because not many people were doing mixes of this sort of thing back then – there was lots of techno and other dance music to be had in the circles I moved in then, but not much reggae to be had.
It was a wicked time for music, with the “one drop” reggae stuff really coming to the fore. I lived near Gladdy Wax’s shop “Wax Unlimited” in Stoke Newington and would try to get there every Saturday to find out what was new. That coupled with David Rodigan’s show on Sunday nights on Kiss, I was well stocked up with some incredible tunes.
In fact, this is probably the most popular mix I have ever done – people still remember it and ask me for a copy. I think this is mainly because it came out at a time when it really stood out, and also because it’s not really been available online for ages. (Marc D hosted it on his Bassnation site for a while).
“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) 2002
2. vc – by his deeds (dig dis) 2001
3. buju banton & gregory isaacs – storm (penthouse) 2002
4. warrior king – education (penthouse) 2002
5. storm version (penthouse) 2002
6. luciano – you can have the world (al ta fa an) 2003
7. admiral tibet – no fear (al ta fa an) 2003
8. anthony b & tafari – rise up (al ta fa an) 2003
9. singing melody & scotty – watch this sound (digital b) 2002
10. louie culture – reaction (digital b) 2002
11. george nooks – two roads (digital b) 2002
12. watch this sound version (digital b) 2002
13. bushman – too much violence (brickwall) 2002
14. norris man – park your guns (brickwall) 2002
15. admiral tibet – peace & love (brickwall) 2002
16. anthony b – god above everything (brickwall) 2002
17. morgan heritage – what’s going on (brickwall) 2002
18. beres hammond – hail his name (star trail) 2002
19. iyashanti – communities into battlefield (star trail) 2002
20. anthony b – jah love (star trail) 2002
21. calliefields version (star trail) 2002
22. luciano – blast off go moon (kennedy international) 2000
23. baby wayne – sick of dem treatment (kennedy international) 2000
24. admiral tibet – blame it on yourself (kennedy international) 2000
25. half pint – political friction (feel the beat)
26. ward 21 – reggae pledge (jammys) 2003
27. shocking blue – artist war (jammys) 2003
28. morgan heritiage & bounty killer – gunz in the ghetto (71) 2000
29. anthony b – lock your guns (71) 2000
30. ward 21 – ganja smoke (john john) 2001
31. nelly furtado – turn out the light (fi we) 2002
32. spanner banner – life goes on (techniques) 1989
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