Learning about Jamaica through music

African Music : A People’s Art by Francis Bebey

I was invited by Dubophonic Records to write something about the selection of dub tracks used on the Excerpts of the Jamaican Parliament Audio Database which is currently being aired as a one hour radio programme on Zanj Radio in Jamaica and Decolonizing the Archive Radio in England.

Here is a preview of the article you can read the rest on the Dubophonic label website

You cannot tell a history of Jamaica without music. Following the music closely will help you to understand the soul of the island and how that conflicts with the identity of the nation. Dub music emerges in Jamaica as a genre and a practice in the late 1960s. It is the creative use of studio technology by Jamaican people with a strong memory of Africa. Dub music is African music. Dub music is Bass music. Africa gave birth to the Drums, the Drums gave birth to Bass and the Bass gave birth to Dub music in Jamaica. Dub is the reminder that the story of Jamaica is the story of Africa, the story of the violent collision between the old world and new world.
Dub has given birth to many other genres of music and Dub music producers worldwide continue to draw inspiration from the music discovering and reinventing dub. This is how music becomes a conversation. The music starts in one place and extends itself, so there can be different versions and nterpretations. The JPAD soundtrack is a reminder that Jamaica is an important nation. It is an island nation with a history that we can learn many lessons from.



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