Thursday, January 17, 2008

King Jammys Sleng Teng'n Into The Digital Era

Like all royalty, King Jammys (born Lloyd James, Kingston, Jamaica) began his reign as a Prince by building amplifiers and repairing electrical equipment in the Waterhouse area of Kingston and eventually running his own sound system. After a brief hiatus in Canada, where he concentrated on doing studio and sound system work for others, he returned to Jamaica with the intention of creating his own recording studio. The young prince got his big break by joining forces with the reigning King - King Tubby. It was under Tubby's tutelage where he received his education in mixing and by the late 70's he began releasing his own productions including the debut album from Black Uhuru. It has been written that since Jammy was in touch with the artists in the burgeoning dancehall scene and a keen sense of what was going to be popular.

The story goes that in 1985 Jammys discovered a new riddim by altering one of the pre-programmed rock rhythms from a Casio digital music box. The rock beat was slowed considerably and when he recorded a young singer named Wayne Smith and his tune "Under Me Sleng Teng" he forever changed the course of Jamaican music. The new digital riddim was christened Sleng Teng and instantaneously became massive. Before long there were over 200 varied versions of the riddim by every producer in Jamaica and probably three times as many artists lining up to take a lyrical ride. What made Sleng Teng so important was that it eliminated the need for expensive studio musicians and studio time and put the ability for creating affordable music directly in the hands of independent producers and artists nationwide.

Today we're paying tribute to Sleng Teng with a mix I put together. There are 24 songs in total, (25 if you count the King Jammys version that floats in and out throughout the mix) all dating back to the dawning of the digital era in 1985, and if you're a fan of early dancehall this should give you a nice sampling of one of the most revolutionary riddims ever created and one of my personal all-time favorites. If you're more of a roots fan or don't really care for the Sleng Teng itself I highly recommend not downloading this one - you'll have yourself in a Casio induced coma within 3 minutes! This is probably as current as you're ever going to see me get here on Distinctly Jamaican Sounds but this has been in the works for months and I finally got the time to finish it up! I hope you enjoy it!

Here's the tracklisting
1. Wayne Smith - Under Me Sleng Teng
2. John Wayne - Call The Police
3. Echo Minott - Hand Pon The Key
4. Nicodemus - Eagle Feathers
5. Papa Faith - Maniac
6. Screechie Nice - Understand Me
7. Tenor Saw - Pumpkin Belly
8. Eccelton Jarrett - Dancehall Music
9. Pad Anthony - Cry For Me
10. Tonto Irie - Every Posse Come In
11. Cocoa Tea - Hey Bobby
12. Shinehead - Know Fe Chat
13. Sugar Minott - Jam In The Street
14. Mr. Lee - Crisis
15. Shelly Thunder - Sting Mi Sting
16. Woody Noble - Ram Jam Session
17. Tappa Zukie - Big Things
18. Tony Asher - Our Teng
19. Johnny Osbourne - Buddy Bye
20. Hugh Griffiths - Medley Ride
21. Super Morris - Under Mi Peter Green
22. Echo Minott - Original Fat Ting
23. Singie Singie - Tell Us What You Know
24. Supercat - Trash And Ready

Sleng Teng Megamix


Hunter Vaughan said...

...sure remember the day it hit the air waves...totally different reggae feel from any past tunes I'd heard...and seemed nuff artist jumped on sleng teng bandwagon!!....some might say that the tune also "killed off" nuff musicians...goodby live drummer...enter beat technology making it easier than ever for some to enter the musical arena...

thanks for putting this great mix out for us...

Anonymous said...

Jammy- is all that people say
no other sound is quite the same!!

King Jammy rule tonight! :)

Thank you for all your work that brightens up
a very grey winther in Stockholm (we haven´t seen the sun for about fout months, and that´s no joke)

Zero G Sound said...

Wow, thanks a lot for this great mix! Wonderful work!!!

i said...

you're on a roll over here brother.

loving the mixes you're putting out over here and am especially looking forward to listening to this one...



Gibson said...

Keep up the good work, man. All of your mixes are wicked business. Love the education along with each one. You've introduced me to many new artists. Much thanks.

Abouttobuss said...

King Jammys is definately a pioneer inna di ting. Big up to Jammys loving the music

Skydive said...

thanks alot for this, friend.


Skydive said...

thanks alot for this, friend.


Anonymous said...

amazing, thanks

Anonymous said...

big up ! This is a riddim lick of an 80s style, please check it , or buy on itunes :)

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