David Katz ‘Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae (Revised and Expanded)’

Our friend and author David Katz presents the long-awaited revised and expanded version of his astounding ‘biography of reggae’ Solid Foundation.

On Wednesday 9 January 2013, Dub Me Always cordially invites you to the official launch of the revised and expanded edition of Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae, by David Katz, published by Jawbone Press.
Solid Foundation is ‘the definitive history of reggae music’ (Sunday Herald), spanning from the earliest sound system pioneers of the 1940s to the new stars of dancehall in the 21st century. Drawing on more than 350 first-hand interviews with the major figures of the music, this landmark book tells the fascinating story of some of the most compelling characters in Jamaican popular music. It features a diverse range of musical pioneers, including the Skatalites, Prince Buster, Jimmy Cliff, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd, and members of the Wailers band, plus deejay innovators such as U Roy and Big Youth, dub legends such as Augustus Pablo, Prince Jammy and Scientist, as well as dancehall giants like King Kong, Elephant Man, Beenie Man and Buju Banton. It details the entire evolution of Jamaican popular music, including ska, rock steady, roots reggae, dub, dancehall, ragga, and more.
First published in 2003, Solid Foundation was widely praised as ‘a cracking read’ (Mojo) and ‘a necessary work’ (The Wire). This fully revised and expanded edition brings the story into the 21st century with two new chapters on the key performers of recent times, and also has extensive additions throughout, with much firmer information about the early days of the Jamaican record industry, new interview material about the foundation dancehall period, and improved and previously unseen photographs throughout.
This event kicks off at 8pm with a special presentation by the publishers and author. Books will be available at a special reduced price, and the author will be on hand to sign them. The evening will continue with sweet reggae music, spinning as usual on original vinyl, until 11pm – all are welcome, and entry is free.
Details at Upstairs at the Ritzy.

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The Heart of the Congos

If you were to ask me, outside of Bob Marley and the Wailers, who is your favorite roots reggae collective?  I would have to say “Well, The Congos of course.”

In my opinion, The Congos are the most spiritual of the acts that came out of that “golden age of roots reggae.” They are mandatory listening for me every day.  Their debut album The Heart of the Congos is considered by many to be one of the most influential dub albums ever produced by one Lee “Scratch” Perry.  Notwithstanding their debut masterpiece, Congo Ashanti is probably the best album to emerge from the “golden era.”

Sporting musicians like Sly Dunbar, Willie Lindo, Ernest Ranglin and Tommy McCook, its an impossibility that Congo Ashanti would be anything but an instant classic. Recorded at Harry J’s studio, the move away from Lee Perry gives the album a less dub-heavy sound allowing for Cedric Myton to fully explore his sublime falsetto.

I could talk for days about The Congos but I will spare you.  I have included a link to a blog which contains downloads of the debut release by the Jamaican vocal harmony duo, released on a Lee Perry Upsetter Disco Cork 12″ and one of the best from the Black Ark Studio in Washington Gardens, Kingston.

Also included is text by David Katz, who’s books on Lee Perry and Reggae music are well worth getting hold of…

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12″ Disco Cork “Nickodeemus”

12″ Disco Cork “Solid Foundation”