On Rastas in Ghana

Okomfo Anokye by dvnmyls

Reggae is not unlike “highlife,” the most popular form of Ghanaian music, which mixes both African and Caribbean influences and can be traced to the 1920s and 1930s.

20+ best Lucky Dube quotes about life, love, success, and politics
Read more: https://www.tuko.co.ke/418729-20-lucky-dube-quotes-life-love-success-politics.html



While the South African singer Lucky Dube pioneered reggae in places like Ghana during the 1970s, and still ranks as one of the most sought-after performers throughout contemporary Africa, other “imports,” such as Don Carlos, Jimmy Cliff, and Bob Marley, not forgetting more recent acts such as Black Uhuru, Steel Pulse, and Buju Banton, have emerged to create and define a certain ethos that, at least from one perspective, may be seen as “Rasta.”

In all likelihood, “Rasta” as a religious-cultural import influenced a few Ghanaian youth to practice Rastafarianism in the 1970s and 1980s. Its social message, often wrapped in musical garb, would have been appealing, for instance, to disenfranchised youth during those long years of economic mismanagement and domestic privation.

Reggae was, and remains, an important “Rasta fashion,” and so too is the general appearance of “the Rastaman,” particularly the dreadlocks, which seem to carry enormous appeal in Ghana. It seems highly likely that some of these early Rastas noted the similarity between the appearance of Rasta celebrities like Bob Marley, with his long matted hair, and traditional African fetish priests and, therefore, perceived Rastafarianism as an authentically African way of life.
Okomfo Anokye is worth noting here, as a truly legendary figure in Ghanaian religion and culture. According to Ashanti mythology, he established the Ashanti Kingdom by calling forth its sacred Golden Stool from the sky. In addition, Ashantis claim that one of the three palm nuts Anokye threw on the ground marks the spot that would later become Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti kingdom.

Furthermore, they link him to a legendary sword, observable today in a small room behind Kumasi’s Okomfo Anokye Hospital. According to Ashanti tradition, this sword was mysteriously placed at the exact spot where Okomfo Anoyke called forth the Golden Stool. Royal lore claims that the Ashanti dynasty will suffer unspeakable tragedies should the sword ever be removed.

Not only do Ashantis treat Okomfo Anoyke as their founder and protector, they hold him as one of their highest fetish priests, mysteriously born as a locksman with fully-grown, matted hair.
This arresting detail is not lost on current Ghanaian Rastafarians. While it is difficult to prove that early Ghanaian Rastafarians made any kind of solid connection between their faith and the figure of Okomfo Anokye, from my perspective, the link seems obvious. More than a few non-Rastafarian Ghanaians remarked to me that with the emergence of Rastafarianism among Ghanaian youth in the mid-to-late 1970s, fetish priests found a wider audience for their words and deeds.



Excerpt from:
AS IT IS IN ZION:SEEKING THE RASTAFARI IN GHANA,WEST AFRICA
Darren J. N. Middleton, Black Theology: An International Journal, 2006.

Ghana’s Rastas and the year of return

Dubmatix – ReWired

King Dubmatix coming in with brand new album out on Echo Beach label.
11 vocal tracks with plethora of riddim riders in all kinds of styles and shapes. Including lovely Blue Monday rendition by none other than Barry Ashworth outta Dub Pistols institution, alongside 3 closing dubwise instrumental tracks. This musical delivery sounds groovy, phat, bouncing and flowing in perfect blend of fresh forward roots and solid foundation future classics.

PRE-ORDER VINYL

On Biomusic

Science has been moving in complementary ways to art for centuries, including recently, with the introduction of biotechnology into the arts.
The mix of eastern/western and holistic/analytical-technocratic thinking contributed to a multi-angular approach to human nature.

The informatics that supports biotechnology became a craftsperson’s tool. According to Whitelaw, especially biotechnology involves technologies such as genetic engineering, tissue culture and cloning, while it produces results that are the source of inspiration for those occupied with the subject.

Bioart rather suggests that any future outcome for embodiment in the field of informatics should leave some space for the aesthetic processes of composition. The term bioart, an invention of artist Eduardo Kac for his work ‘Time Capsule’ in 1997, and its derivatives, such as biomusic, belong to what could be described as the next level of syncretic creativity. It is about a technoetic evolution, where the self comes to the forefront through generative arrangements and processes.
The self is shaped through new dimensions of consciousness.

Excerpt from:

Biomusic: The carrier, by Dimitri Batsis and Xenophon Bitsikas, Anastasia Georgaki, Angelos Evaggelou, Panagiotis Tigas. 2012.

Marshall Neeko – Various Artists – Swing Easy Riddim / General Penitentiary Riddim

Marshall Neeko opening up 2023 with already two riddim albums with various artists. This time reworking Swing Easy riddim and General Penitentiary riddim bringing back that late 90’s sound.

Horace Andy: Tiny Desk Concert

Tiny desk concerts from NPR music are tiny concerts in small rooms. This time it’s Adrian Sherwood’s living room jamming with legendary Andy Horace supported by drums, cello, guitar, bass, keys, trumpet, guitar and cello while dubbing FXs are preformed by maestro himself. Fulljoy!

On role of the Deejay

Dominant and subversive versions of Africa and African history reproduced the dynamic outlined above but on an international scale.
In Britain in the 1980s imperial relations were being re-imagined in the context of humanitarian aid. Black youths in Britain wielded their African heritage as a tool to build their communities and give voice to their analysis.
Meanwhile the mainstream press, and charitable structures,were also building a version of Africa; one of helpless victims of natural disasters.

Given such a context, the ‘performance’ that is being considered here contains dialogues that traverse the African diaspora and are based on the acquisition of‘oral skills’ in Creolised language, which acted as a mode of response to the imposition of European culture on non-European peoples. Resistance became most evident in the contested spaces constructed around specific types of language-use that expressed an alternative black subjectivity that bridged intergenerational gaps within black communities.

The use of particular linguistic forms, both oral and scribal, continued the type of ‘pan Caribbean consciousness‘ that was necessary for the Windrush Generation’s survival and was passed down to the generations born in Britain thereafter.
For many deejays, therefore, the world view expressed through the usage of Standard English reduced them to the voiceless, passive victims of a Eurocentric historical bias.
By blending several aspects of Jamaican oral culture with their own local argot, deejays verbally presented critiques of certain entrenched ideas, for instance, poetry as an exclusively white domain.


This type of engagement was exemplifed in a lyric performed on Diamonds Sound System by the British deejay Papa Benji, which suggested that
‘poetry me better than Shakespeare, and me voice gone clear everywhere’.

The deejay thus became the veritable keeper of memories, for once the word was performed, recorded and disseminated, it became an artefact; a historical document.
It also enabled the performers to present their own arguments, in their own words and on their own terms in a ‘commonly agreed language’ that countered their ‘social problem’ status.

Photo from:

Without The Windrush Generation, British MC Culture Would Be Non-Existent

Excerpt from:

William ‘Lez’ Henry (2012) Reggae, Rasta and the Role of the Deejay
in the Black British Experience, Contemporary British History, 26:3, 355-373,
DOI:10.1080/13619462.2012.703024

The Sound of Bed-Stuy

Short docu on sound system movements out of New York. Bigup!

A Journey into Reggae from Dub to Dancehall with Ras Jammy

Original Ras Jammy selection on My Analog Journal with just under 50 minutes of finest roots rock reggae and dubwise. 100% vinyl with crackle, hum and nuff warmth.

Max RubaDub & Natty Campbell – Good Ses

Remix machine Max RubaDub comes with original tune featuring Natty Campbell praising the real highgrade. Version on the flip. Nah miss!

Haris Pilton meets Joseph Cotton – Mr Classic

Privileged to listen to some early mixes in the making of this master piece, Jah Billah confirms this album opens up a new chapter for Balkan regggae.

Mr. Pilton says:



After two years brand new reggae album is here.

HARIS PILTON meets legendary JOSEPH COTTON aka JAH WALTON on an album called MR CLASSIC. The album includes 14 songs in an old fashion reggae style.

Enjoy

From press release:

MR CLASSIC is the latest album from Joseph Cotton in collaboration with producer Haris Pilton.

Legend Joseph Cotton aka Jah Walton (born Silbert Walton, 1957, St. Ann, Jamaica) is a reggae deejay and singer active since the mid-1970s. He recorded his first song named “Gourmandizer” with Joe Gibbs in 1976, under the name Jah Walton. He then moved to Harry Mudie owner of Moodisc label, recording popular tracks such as “Stay A Yard And Praise God” and “Touch Her Where She Want It Most” (the title track from his debut album).

In the mid-1980s he began recording under the name Joseph Cotton, immediately having success. He reached No.1 in the UK charts with “No Touch The Style”, leading to a television appearance on Channel 4’s Club Mixprogramme in 1987. Several more reggae chart hits followed in the form of “Things Running Slow”, “Pat Ha Fe Cook”, “Tutoring”, “Judge Cotton”, and “What Is This”.

Cotton continued to perform and record into the 1990s, 2000s and the present day. He now lives in France where he performs at venues throughout the country and elsewhere in Europe both solo and in collaboration with other reggae artists

On Sound System as tool against oppression

How have the protest anthems of the classic era of reggae been transformed into support for Jamaica’s tourist industry?
Stephen King tackles such general questions of co-optation in his monograph a revision of his dissertation that at times suffers from an overly academic presentation, particularly when he attempts to fit data to the categories of his particular social movement theory.

The study attempts to “comprehensively trace how Jamaica’s protest music has changed both lyrically and musically over a twenty-one year period, and how the Jamaican government has attempted to silence or co-opt these voices of protest”.
King concludes with a look at how Rastafari claims for social justice in reggae have been co-opted first in the service of the island’s emergent nationalism and then to assist Jamaican tourism.

King locates the roots of reggae in ska (1959-65) and rocksteady (1966-67), the two musical forms that preceded it. It was ska, a music that blended mento , the indigenous Jamaican version of calypso, with American jazz and rhythm and blues, that reflected the optimistic mood of the country during the run-up to Jamaican independence.
As economic conditions worsened for the majority of Jamaica’s blacks during the mid-1960s, the more aggressive lyrics of rocksteady gave voice to the frustrations and alienation of the island’s under- and unemployed ghetto dwellers.
And then there was the advent of reggae in the late 1960s and through the 1970s, the period that is remembered as the high- water mark of Rastafari influence on an emergent Jamaican nationalism. Reggae, of course, began as a Rasta-inspired music that not only articulated the pan- African vision of the movement and its demands for social justice, but that celebrated the cultural practices and symbols of Rastafari.

King does a credible job in mapping the general contours and themes of these musical developments against the backdrop of a changing Jamaican society. In the course of this he shows how the roots of Rastafari musical protest are organically intertwined with the development of both preceding forms. While this is hardly newsworthy to many aficionados of Jamaican music, King provides some interesting examples that illustrate how critical commentary and protest themes, however restrained, existed within ska lyrics from the outset.
The occasional presence of Rastafari drumming, biblical references (e.g., River Jordan, Mount Zion), and allusions to repatriation through the idiom of the “promised land” were all important resonances in
this music that portended the development of popular music as an important communicative medium for the Rasta movement.

King describes rocksteady as a music that is more aggressive, that speaks more directly to the collective frustrations and suffering experienced by the island’s lower classes. Frequently, this music celebrates the “Rude Boy” or new male ghetto rebel as he has been memorialized in popular discourse.
Prince Buster’sToo Hot” and Derrick Morgan’s Tougher Than Tough” are both examples of this figure, an individual who sought social and political justice with a ratchet (knife) or a gun.
King points out that rocksteady lyrics tended to condone more aggressive protest against the oppression of the “sufferah” class, while in specific cases evoking linkages with the general Rastafari critique of the “Babylonian” neocolonial system.

Of critical importance to the dissemination and popularization of this music, King notes, were “sound systems” developed to carry high-fidelity playback equipment to rural and urban dances throughout the island.
This portable technology, he argues, enabled the development of a community of dissent by transporting music to sites where “the voice of the poor could be heard without interference by local authorities”, a development that continued from the era of ska through reggae to the present. It is certainly true that
sound systems served to strengthen an already extant discourse of protest, but King fails to recognize that long before sound systems, the Rasta movement itself was about creating alternative spaces for face-to-face communication in which counter-hegemonic discourse was reproduced and disseminated.

Text from:

Review: UNDERSTANDING A MODERN ANTIQUE: CHALLENGES TO REPRESENTING RASTAFARI IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Author: John P. Homiak
Source: NWIG: New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, Vol. 79, No. 1/2 (2005)

Wosui – Wicked Babylon EP

Wosui coming in hot on future dubwise label Reggaewise outta Greece.

3 tracks+1 dub made primarily and foremost with task to shake the scoops and rumble the tweeters of any good sound system.
Full support!