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The Beat Goes (Back) On!

We are very pleased and proud to announce a new feature at Afropop.org : reprints of selected articles from the late, lamented ma...

November 16, 2012

I & I ah de roots.....

From the Where Are They Now Dept.: Chuck Foster, author of The Beat's longest-running -- and longest -- column, "Reggae Update," has become a music producer, and here is his new production: We Roots, with contributions from 5 lovely ladies and one duet, mostly from Southern California. It's already on the CMJ chart and available online and on CDBaby and Amazon. Congratulations, Chuck, and bravo! http://catchmetime.com/19-sample-data-articles/joomla/8-newalbum

Catch Me Time Records presents a varied set of reggae music from a diverse group of female artists. The CD, recorded at Mystery Man and Rough Sounds studios in Los Angeles and produced by Chuck Foster, long-time host of Reggae Central on KPFK-LA, features vocals from Universal Speakers, Shayna Dread, Jessica Burks, Jordan Mercedes, Zema and Queen P inna showcase-style with each song followed by a full-length dub. All of the artists brings their own individual background, experience and quality to the mix.
We Roots gathers some of Southern California's finest musicians drawing on Jamaican styles from rock steady to roots and adding non-traditional elements for a unique sound. Women have always made a great contribution to reggae and this collection brings together a group of artists and styles that keep positive music moving forward in this crucial time. 

After writing about music for over twenty years in the Reggae Update column of Beat Magazine and as author of the books Roots Rock Reggae: An Oral History of Reggae Music From Ska To Dancehall (Billboard Books, 1999) and The Small Axe Guide To Rocksteady (Muzik Tree, 2009) Chuck Foster has returned to his roots producing an all female vocal and dub collection out now on the Catch Me Time Records label.
The cd is presented "showcase" style, with each song followed by a corresponding dub. Recorded in various studios utilizing the talents of different singers and players, the styles range from rock steady and roots to cutting-edge contemporary.

March 8, 2012

The mysterious Jah Bizzare

In September 1982, an envelope arrived at KCRW's Reggae Beat program, containing the images you see below. The artist was an extravagantly talented Englishman who called himself Jah Bizzare, who was living in Costa Mesa, CA and evidently listened to Roger and Hank's radio broadcasts. Mr. Bizzare became a contributor to the early Beats, creating the Ducky Dred comic strip, and also illustrating the first two color covers: the Lee "Scratch" Perry and the Reggae Radio issues. I wonder what ever became of him.....

February 4, 2012

Zine Archive: The Beat // July 1983 « Shimmy Shimmy

What a lovely treat to discover this on a blog from UK! Give thanks guys!

Zine Archive: The Beat // July 1983 « Shimmy Shimmy

Before The Beat magazine turned into a fully-fledged, full colour glossy magazine, it was a proper black-and-white one page one dollar newsletter. It was started in 1982, by C.C. Smith and Roger Steffens – who is the world’s foremost authority on Bob Marley (and has the most amazing memorabilia collection, including an amazing Bob bead curtain). It was the only reggae/african/world music dedicated magazine in the US, and sadly shut its press last year.

I have this copy of July/August 1983 issue, which features an interview with Lee Scratch Perry, talking his usual nonsense:

My name is King David, I love to fling stone. Right? My papa is King Solomon Emperor Haile Selassie I the black gorilla king, Super Ape right? He can change into a lion, a monkey, a leopard, any thing. He has the power to do anything, right? He is the capricorn right? He is the sagittarius right? He’s the every-fucking thing (p17, interview with Doug Wendt)

Aside from the Scratch feature, there are some amazing adverts for different reggae shops, mostly in California, complete playlists from Steffens’ Reggae Beat International radio show, on KCRW, columns like ‘Collector’s Corner’, ‘Reggae Ramblins’, an interesting piece addressing whether ‘reggae really wants commercial success’ and the chronic mishandling of reggae as a business, a comic strip based on a rasta called Ducky Dred, a feature on Chicago reggae bands, and this reggae game, for the hardened reggae stoner: Roll up 3 spliffs and start here!

My favourite outtakes from the issue: