Clocking on again.
We're back in the studio, and all is fun and well. Stanley's here too, or at least in the shed out back, painting again. The rats have got in and eaten all his blue paint, and there's blue rat shit everywhere: but at least he's got a good dub cd to listen to while he's working. At least, I think it's good. Let me explain.
There is loads of great music out there that you’ll never have time to find out about. I’m always saying this - boring the arse off someone about this. Partly to make me sound like I know loads of great music that they don’t, and partly to justify why I’ve never heard a note of, say, the Stooges (though I really must, I know, I know...how can I claim to be a an Iggy Pop fan if I've never even heard 'I wanna be your dog'? etc. etc.)
I often glibly add - ‘you could spend 6 months listening to just dub reggae, and it would all be worth hearing.’ I realize that sounds patronising, but I choose reggae because I know so many people who collect this kind of music and no other - which fascinates me - and because it’s mostly unknown to me. Not any more....I’ve just done it. Six solid months of nothing but Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Ken Boothe, Junior Byles, Marcia Aitkin and hundreds of others. It’s to make a compilation which may or may not ever be completed - I hope I’m not just proving a point to myself - but either way, there’s been nothing else on my ipod since April.
There’s something exciting about coming to musicians when they’re just names, when you’ve no idea who Derrick Harriott looks like, or what his reputation is - considered naff by real dub fans, maybe ? Derivative ? Or maybe ground-breaking ? I know the Stooges were ground-breaking - maybe that’s what has been putting me off. The weight of knowing already how good it’s meant to be. With this compilation, I’ve just ploughed through all these faceless names, liking things I probably shouldn’t (covers of soul songs! Spanish guitar solos!) and maybe finding nothing I like by the supposed classics (some of the very empty dub stuff is kind of....tedious) - or nothing I really like on the records I already have. Although Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry seems to me to deserve all respect he gets. His records are just magical. Ditto Linval Thompson, Sly and Robbie, and Scientist.
(Interesting how making a compilation for someone makes you listen to your music completely differently. Endless moments of 'do I really like that track, now I'm actually listening to it for someone else?' It's a great way to get rid of records that you only think you like.)
So it’s great music. If you don’t know any, it’s really worth getting into. There’s more than one speed, one rhythm, one mood - more than one gender, even, than you might suspect. Marcia Griffiths was a revelation. If I ever finish this thing, I’ll put the list up, and invite you to check it out. And disagree. "Ken Boothe ? Theat's not real reggae....Robbie Williams of his day.....might as well put 'I come from a land down-under' on... "