Friday, January 27, 2017

#70sVibe #Vinyl #RootsRockReggae REVIVAL


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With the advent of digital music and the popularity of downloads, it seemed that vinyl 45s would be relegated to museums but, they seem to be making a comeback. In the UK scene some of the bands from the golden age of vinyl reggae are still going  Misty in Roots and Aswad. Others are making a comeback like Black Slate. That got me thinking and I started looking at the reggae scene.

Back in the day when vinyl was king there was a lot of underlying tension in the community with ideals and causes like 'Rock Against Racism'  which held rallies and festivals where reggae artists often had the opportunity to be billed. The music also reflected this 'reality' and this 'crossed over' because the issues could be related to by many parts of the community, not just the black community. Because of reggae's ability to be a vehicle for expression, some of the best reggae music was written and produced. I believe this period was reggae's heyday and all this great music captured on vinyl.

It felt great to have the latest  single or even better buying what was called a 'pre-release' which was an imported single from Jamaica that was not generally available. To have these in a physical collection of records was something to be proud of. So there was always a rush to the record shop to get the latest singles before they were sold out.

vinyl record

With digital technology came the increased availability of music and also the need to do without a physical representation of the music. I remember thinking, this will never take off. People paying for music they don't own with no physical asset. How wrong can you be. However, the new breed of music lovers are beginning to rediscover the joy of owning something their musical heroes produced. Because of this, some artists are now releasing some tracks only on vinyl. The few pressing plants that still exist are in high demand with lead times for a run of vinyls being months. How times change.

In the dub scene, fans are willing to pay a good some for 'Specials' which are very limited edition vinyls that are not on general release. The merchandise table for the top sound systems and DJs now doing a roaring trade in vinyls.

Looking at the world at the moment, we are in a period of uncertainty and although the sub genres of reggae like lovers rock and dancehall are popular, there is definitely a rise in the popularity of Roots and Culture, Reality and Conscious reggae.Whether out of Jamaica like #RagingFyah #Jah9 and #MorganHeritage or from the USA with #Rebelution and #Groundation, there seems to be a return to music with a cause. Because of this I believe fans are feeling a stronger connection with the artists and want something more tangible than an mp3 audio file.

Reggae music was born from the need for people to have a vehicle for their voice and it is still a vehicle for the people to be heard. Only now the voice is also on vinyl.

Friday, January 13, 2017

I am #Innocent

single cover art song entitled Innocent


The single by Miss Tun Pickney entitled 'Innocent' . The idea for the song is that innocence is not defined by the innocent. This is something that I have always found a bit scary. You here the saying 'if you are innocent you have nothing to fear'. But from what I see in the news bulletins everyday that seems  an over simplification. Cases of mistaken identity, the treatment of outsiders, racial profiling, bullying and trolling. All these are circumstances that put a presumption of guilt on a person my others. When this happens it can be very difficult for that person to put things right without making matters worse.

You see it everywhere as there are so many mediums to voice opinions. Social media has made it easy for people to hide behind a profile, which, for the concept of free speech is a great thing. But can be devastating if a campaign against an innocent person is conducted because the speed of communication is instant the opinion can go viral in hours.

Sadly, there have been many cases where the trauma of the campaign is too much for some and has ended in tragedy. To be, this conveyed that no matter your personal view of your innocence, it is really in the control of others, whether justified or not. We live on a narrow track where we normally do not have to justify ourselves but, it doesn't take much to change that. So, in the song I try to define what innocent means to me and ask the question 'what does innocent mean to you'. I think it is a question we should all ask ourselves and then see if we like the answer.

It was difficult thinking of a theme for the cover art. How to reflect what the song is about in one image. Innocence, as far as I was concerned, was a birth right of all people and I wanted to try and reflect this in the video and the cover art. So, I threw this over to my graphic designer to come up with some ideas, one of which, was a face, but whose face? Then, the idea of a face that was a collage of other faces came to mind.

A few options were put forward and I settled on the one you see in the cover art. I wanted to try and convey a couple of ideas, is this the face of innocence and " I am innocent!". I don't know if this worked, I'll let you decide. But, I hope you find the image interesting, let me know what you think.

single cover art

This is why I love creating music because there have been so many songs that really have made an impact on me. I hope you will listen to it and maybe you will agree or disagree. The main thing is, I hope it strikes a chord (excuse the pun) with you in some way. Let me know what you think, comments are often great triggers for a new song idea as well as great feedback. The video link is here

Dingazz Music the home of Miss Tun Pickney