Harmony In Motion

Harmony In Motion

The early 1970s were a strange time for Jamaican music. Ska was long gone. The uptempo organ shuffle of early reggae which had hit so well in the UK was starting to fall out of favor.  In the studios, King Tubby, Sylvan Morris, Errol Brown and Lee Perry were making the innovations that would become Dub Music.  Rasta inflected consciousness was filtering down into music and lyrics and in time would blossom into the genre we know as “Roots.”  Oddly Rock Steady, the sound that eclipsed ska and faded away by late 1968, retained an influence — namely in tempo, love of harmony and a certain soulful darkness. For unknown reasons, tiny labels and producers popped up like mushrooms after a storm — releasing a few one-off tunes and then fading away into the ether.  It was a classic “In-between” period:  1971, 72, 73 as the middle child of Jamaican music, neither roots nor dub nor any other well defined sub-genre, but an amalgamation of older sounds and an incubator for what reggae would evolve into.

I have become a bit fascinated with this period.  In particular, the use of harmony (both group and solo) in illustrating heartbreak and sufferation.  I made this mix as an homage to this period, although a few songs stray from the exact time-frame.  I selected the songs so that they would create a consistent “conversation” within the mix.   Even though, this strays from the topics I normally cover in the blog, I hope you enjoy!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *