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greenpatriotposters.org Edited by Edward Morris and Dmitri Siegel
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DJ Spooky also has participated in renowned photographer Lyle Owerko's new book "The Boombox Project" on the history of boomboxes.

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Copyright Criminals Copyright Criminals - a Documentary by Ben Frantzen and Kembrew Mcleod
I'm in this movie, and I think that they did an excellent job. They have many friends and peers of mine - Jeff Chang, Chuck D (who appeared on my album "Drums of Death"), Clyde Stubblefiend, the drummer for James Brown, and many others. I HIGHLY recommend this film for anyone who is interested in digital culture.!



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Yoko OnoDJ Spooky has produced material on the new Yoko Ono album.
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Rhythm Science RHYTHM SCIENCE:
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ARTICLE//
Trojan Records

Listen to DJ Spooky's re-wired, re-charged remix of
Dawn Penn's classic "No, No, No (You Don't Love Me)"
Trojan Records Logo

Heel up, Wheel up, Come Back, Rewind: Trojan Records
by Paul D. Miller

When Trojan Records asked me to do a "selections" from their archive, one of the first things that went through my mind was how do you mix music that changed the world? It's been about fifty years since Jamaica has become an independent country, and it seems like the music that comes from this tiny island in the Caribbean is having more of an impact than ever.

Trojan Records' founder, Arthur "Duke" Reid, used to drive the Trojan brand of trucks around Kingston with huge speakers blasting his innovative collection of Jamaican music, leading to the urban legend of how the name of the soundsystem cum record label developed. "Duke" was a former policeman, and it comes as no surprise that the "ruff and rude" sounds of the Kingston underground were the staple of his sound.

The metaphor of the Trojan truck, mapped onto the Greek legend of the Trojan house, is as fitting as any fiction. Trojan Ltd. was a car company that made sturdy trucks that were to become the staple of the colonial market export of cars. The people of Troy, a great city on the edge of ancient Greece, were a royal line founded by Zeus and Electra, and if the myths of the past are to be kept in mind when we think of Jamaica, you can see the update: Like the Trojan horse, these stealth units, soundsystems, were able to be in plain sight while changing the cultural operating system of the entire world. Soundsystems were portable discos, mobile platforms for different styles. They were the preferred method of spreading a style because they were nomadic in a way that the monumental clubs of the U.S. and U.K. couldn't dream of. From the vantage point of the 21st century, they can only be viewed as the predecessor of the iPod.

Portability, quickness, stealth copies of hit songs, "versions"S¹ All of this leads us to the idea of remix culture and "mash-ups" that are the digital world's inheritance from the analog media of the soundsystem. With the material that I selected for this compilation, I wanted to avoid the obvious songs of Jamaican history, and focus on the more esoteric materials that collectors and producers could relate to. For example, when the Prodigy sampled Max Romeo and The Upsetters' 1976 "I Chase The Devil (Lucifer)," I thought it would be a good start to think about how the same sample popped up on Kayne West's production of Jay Z's hit "Lucifer." I think you'll relate to the out-take version I included in the compilation of Lee "Scratch" Perry's version, "Disco Devil." Sounds like piracy? Well can you imagine the world without Bob Marley? He used to screen records as a clerk for the Coxsone soundsystem. He'd literally sift through the sounds of the current day to tell Coxsone which records to copy! This was invaluable for his development as a recording artist and performer. There are other examples of this kind of cross pollination of riddims on this compilation - the best is Big Youth's song "Screaming Target." Big Youth recorded this version in 1973 over a riddim he took from K.C. White called "No, No, No" that just happened to be an exact cover of Dawn Penn's 1967 rocksteady 7" single on Studio One, "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)." Dawn Penn's song became a staple of the hip-hop and r&b scene in the 1990's after getting a lot of rotation on underground mixtapes. The list goes on - I think you can get the idea: everyone borrowed from everyone else. It didn't matter if the tracks were produced by Gussie Clark (Big Youth), by Clement S. Dodd (Dawn Penn's first version of "You Don't Love Me"), or by Steelie and Clevie (the drum machine version made in the early 1990's) - the riddim remained the same. I wanted to reach back to the Big Youth version to show how the "versioning" process evolved. Another example: "The Jamaicans" were a band that helped popularize "rocksteady," and their song on this compilation helped win them the 1967 Second Jamaica Song Festival Prize!

Arthur "Duke" Reid listens to his soundsystem, 1968
No one can really explain the popularity of George Gershwin's popular theater work, "Porgy and Bess" with black musicians - it would be easy to say we know the play more from Charlie Parker's cover version on his infamous "Charlie Parker with Strings" recorded around 1949, or even more likely, from Billie Holiday's earlier, searing rendition of the same song.Gershwin originally conceived "Porgy and Bess" as an "American folk opera," and the work was first performed in 1935. It was never really widely accepted in the United States as a legitimate opera until the late 1970s and '80s: basically, it's now considered part of the standard operatic repertoire. To this day Porgy and Bess is regularly performed internationally, and many recordings of the complete work, including Gershwin's cuts, have been made. Despite the acclaim it received from critics, the opera has been controversial; some from the outset have considered it racist - but to me it simply contained some of the strange racial issues that plague America to this day.

Because of Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstrong's cover versions, "Summertime" is by far the best-known piece from the work, and countless versions have been recorded and performed. Gershwin's synthesis of European orchestral techniques with American jazz and folk music, created a situation where black artists were comfortable mixing the orchestral tradition with whatever materials were at hand. The rest, I guess you can say, is history. Think of an opera mixed into a Kingstson dancehall in the 1960's and you can get an idea of why: the opera retells the story of Porgy, a crippled black man living in the slums of Charleston, South Carolina, and his attempts to rescue the other main character, Bess, from the clutches of Crown, her pimp, and Sportin' Life, a drug dealer. It could easily be a scene transposed to post independence Jamaica, and that's why I included B.B. Seaton's beautiful version on the compilation.

All this goes to show that the "re-mix" was happening in Jamaica to keep the best songs fresh with the newest sounds for decades before the idea hit the U.S. With Perry and his stable of singers like Susan Cadogan (a former librarian!), you can hear the heat of a Kingston night in songs like her hit, "Fever," and her 1974 smash single "Hurt So Good," a cover version of Millie Jackson's song by the same name. Since copyright law in Jamaica was never tight everything was a copy of something else. You can think of the whole culture as a shareware update, a software source for the rest of the world to upload. And if you stretch your ears, you can see the future of digital music in the drum machine riddim of "Sleng Teng" - a rhythm made at King Jammy's on a Casio MT-40 home keyboard. Amusingly enough, the MT-40 keyboard had a built-in preset pattern based on rockabilly country musician Eddie Cochran's hit song "Something Else" (a song also covered by The Beatles, Sid Vicious from the Sex Pistols, and Led Zeppelin). Because of this, a synthesizer version of the song's bassline ended up as the basis of one of the most popular dancehall riddims in Jamaican music - which started the "Digital Reggae" revolution in 1985.Jamaica created its own economy in sound with the relentless bass pressure of an island where music, and access to the right styles and sounds could make or break your career. The pressure to find the right rhythms created a hothouse of innovation. Just think: reggae is the expression of a nation under immense pressure - from IMF loans, from colonialism's aftereffects, the falling price of bauxite and its relationship to a Third World economy based solely on natural products like sugar cane and bananas.

Before hip-hop was global, the Jamaican scene had somehow, on the down-low, followed the idea of diaspora. Today with artists like Matisyahu in Brooklyn doing Hasidic Jewish versions of reggae, to stuff like Japan's "Ranking Taxi" to the myriad sounds coming out of Brazil, India, Tunisia, Germany and France, the tradition of pastiche and bricolage continues. You get the idea. The logic of diaspora - of taking music from a region and spreading it across the world - is reggae's core essence, and when I put this mix together, I wanted to go from my downtown NYC to London and Kingston, to parts of the world I'd forgotten and to some of the most distant places in my record collection.

I used to go to Jamaica every summer when I was a kid, and some of my earliest memories - visiting relatives and friends, cousins and uncles and aunts - were of my mother and sister reminding me of the links between the island and America. My Mom used to even write for Jamaica's equivalent of the New York Times, Kingston's "Daily Gleaner!" I want you to feel history when you listen to this mix and think about how sampling, making new music from old, came from the idea of versioning. Think about the soundsystem battles of Duke Reid, Sir Coxsone and Prince Buster as a forerunner to MC and DJ battles in hip-hop. Think about Kool Herc's bass enhanced soundsystem as a stepping stone for Afrika Bambaata's Planet Rock. Just think about how strange the world would be if we didn't have this music of the islands. It just makes you remember that this whole planet is just an island too.

This mix is a combination of the old, the new, and the in between. That's kind of the point: DJ culture in the 21st century is as much about the soundsystem as the playlist. The iPod revolution has brought us back to the era of the "single" in the form of a downloadable media file. For me, this "selection" is a return to the era when I was a kid in the ancient late 1980's, when vinyl still ruled the dancehalls, and the soundsystems of NYC, Kingston, and London were all about underground flava. At a certain point in time, and at a certain place - a phrase: architecture is nothing but frozen music. What happens when we reverse engineer the process? Form becomes flux, solids melt into ideas, concepts, blueprints, codes and contexts. I wanted to make a mix that reflected that: old and new. If there's one thing that reggae has told us, it's all about that pressure drop!

Enjoy!!!

Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid NYC 2006
In Fine Style:
Dj Spooky Presents 50,000 Volts of Trojan Records


CD 1
1. Sweet Like Candy by Winston Williams
2. Nice Nice by The Kingstonians
3. 007 Shanty Town - by Desmond Dekker 67
4. Funky, Funky Reggae by Dave & Ansel Collins
5. Shades Of Hudson by Dennis Alcapone
6. Summertime by B.B. Seaton
7. Disco Devil by Lee Perry
8. Jah Jah Man by Sly and Robbie
9. Lama Lava by Augustus Pablo
10. Come Together by The Israelites
11. Old Fashion Way by Ken Booth
12. Rain by Bruce Ruffin
13. Your Ace From Outer Space by U-Roy
14. The Rooster by Tommy McCook & His Band
15. The Trial Of Pama Dice by Lloyd/Dice/Mum
16. Ba Ba Boom by The Jamaicans
17. Fever by Susan Cadogan
18. Morning Sun by Al Barry & The Cimarons


CD 2:
1. Dj's Choice by Winston Williams
2. Screaming Target by Big Youth
3. The Great Musical Battle by Derrick Morgan
4. The Russians Are Coming (Take Five) by Val Bennett
5. Popcorn by The Upsetters
6. Brother Noah by The Shadows
7. Reform Institute by Isaac's All Stars
8. Bridgeport Dub by The Blackbeard All Stars
9. King Tubby's Explosion Dub by King Tubby
10. Dynamic Fashion Way by U-Roy
11. A Yah We Deh by Barrington Levy
12. "Here Comes the Judge" by Peter Tosh
13. "Flat Foot Hustling" by Dillinger
14. Hot Sauce (Aka The Agro Man Is Back) by Dave & Ansel Collins -
15. Rudy A Message To You by Dandy Livingstone
16. Rough Rider (Live) by The Special Beat