Listen Up! DJ Style

Listen Up! DJ Style


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The Listen Up! series of compilations has issued different volumes focusing on various subgenres of reggae and Jamaican music, sometimes serving as beginners' guides to the basics of ska, dancehall, rocksteady, and the like. Listen Up! DJ Style feels less like a Rough Guide or greatest-hits collection than it does a solid compilation of classic DJ toasts over mid- to late-'70s/early-'80s reggae rhythms. While it includes many of the largest names on the DJ scene (U-Roy, Prince Jazzbo, Dillinger, Tapper Zukie, Dr. Alimantado, and others), the 16 tracks on the compilation are all strong singles without being too ubiquitous to feel overly familiar or basic. The track selection tends to focus mostly on late-'70s reverb-heavy productions, melding dub effects with bass-driven roots rhythm tracks. Classic slow-burning tracks like "Cassius Clay" by Dennis Alcapone blur into washy King Tubby productions like "Straight to Prince Jazzbo Head" by I-Roy, with the smooth-talking toasts that served as precursors to rap flowing over fragments of dubbed-out vocal tracks from the original songs. While many of the DJs offer up breezy party scatting and laid-back vibes, there's a fair amount of Rastafarian mysticism and spiritual imagery as well. Trinity's foreboding "Psalms" is a menacing account of righteousness and wickedness boomed out in a deep, forceful voice over dark percussion and dubby horn sections. The mix of classic reggae rhythms, wild production values, and spirited toasting makes Listen Up! DJ Style one of the strongest volumes of the series and an incredibly bright snapshot of the Jamaican reggae culture of its time.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/04/2012
Label: Kingston Sounds
UPC: 5060135761110
catalogNumber: 38

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