December 21, 2009
From Brian Dring, columnist, "The Other Caribbean" 1998-2009
I have really enjoyed writing for the BEAT, meeting and interviewing great artists, and especially reading what other contributors have to say.
As a subscriber going back to 1988, I would look forward to reading such past columnists as Gage Averill (Haitian Fascination) and Gene Scaramuzzo (original Other Caribbean writer). As a writer I continued to enjoy reading other regulars like Martin Sinnock, Bob Tarte, Dave Hucker, and many others. The BEAT was always unique in its perspective and thorough in its coverage. It was to most music trade magazines as college radio is to commercial radio.
I have to echo the sentiments expressed by CC Smith about reggae that even "other Caribbean" styles like soca and zouk were changing...in this case becoming heavily influenced by r&b and dancehall. As someone inspired by the early sound, it was becoming harder to write meaningful and even fair music reviews when I was not really moved by many of the new releases I heard. Still, with a little help from the Cape Verdean or South American scene, I managed to sneak enough good new releases in a two-month span to fill a page or two :)
Finally, I'd like to wish all the BEAT staff and writers best of luck with future plans and....nice working with you!
"The Other Caribbean" columnist 1998-2009