ONE WE MISSED: Various Artists; One Love, The Very Best of Aotearoa Reggae (Sony)

 |   |  1 min read

David Grace and Injustice: Rua Kenana
ONE WE MISSED: Various Artists; One Love, The Very Best of Aotearoa Reggae (Sony)

Released a few weeks back, this highly inclusive, 34-song double disc got repeat play in the car stereo because it isn't always our default position of "barbecue reggae" (although there's a fair swag of that) but pops interesting surprises.

So here alongside the expected -- Black Seeds, Fat Freddy's, Katchafire, Tiki Tane, House of Shem etc -- are some interesting archival inclusions: Herbs' Dragon and Demons (remastered); Upper Hutt Posse's Ragga Girl ('92); Dread Beat and Blood's I-Unity, Aotearoa's Sweet Child and Southside of Bombay's All Across the World (all mid Eighties); DLT and the Mighty Asterix's One Love and Unitone Hi-Fi with Mighty Asterix (both Nineties); and Hallelujah Picasso's Rewind ('93).

These songs add diversity and texture to this often breezy summershine collection which might have otherwise simply tipped into that archetypal sound we so love in the backyard.

Here too is an undated Twelve Tribes of Israel song Tribulation Soldier which at a guess is from the Eighties too.

This album coincidentally arrived at a time when I was in a conversation with a researcher looking at the political end of New Zealand reggae . . . of which there is remarkably little, which is strange given its origins in the volatile era after the rise of Nga Tamatoa and the Polynesian Panthers in late Sixties/early Seventies, post-dawn raids, the Springbok tour and the occupation at Bastion Point.

As a vehicle for politics -- of even the most broad kind -- reggae originally did put itself on the musical barricades but over time seemed to abdicate that position.

Just a thought.

Here there are a few political songs, but the ratio is as low as it is in mainstream New Zealand rock and pop.

That researcher has his work cut out, I think. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Reggae articles index

BURNING SPEAR INTERVIEWED (2000): Still tending his crop

BURNING SPEAR INTERVIEWED (2000): Still tending his crop

Burning Spear lets go a deep, resonant laugh which starts as a chuckle then becomes increasingly full-throated. Savour that moment, it's the only break in his gravitas during this friendly,... > Read more

BOB MARLEY REMEMBERED IN NEW ZEALAND (2009): The symmetry of commemorations

BOB MARLEY REMEMBERED IN NEW ZEALAND (2009): The symmetry of commemorations

Summertime in the late Nineties and I am walking in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. Around the corner come two Maori guys who greet me with eyebrow flashes and a hefty, "Kia ora."... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

TURIN BRAKES INTERVIEWED (2004): Something in the ether

TURIN BRAKES INTERVIEWED (2004): Something in the ether

So you're travelling to the States soon and wondering about that new fingerprinting and high-security thing at the airport on arrival? Tell it to Gale Paridjanian of Turin Brakes. He's been down... > Read more

UB40: Just another labour of love

UB40: Just another labour of love

It was a few years ago now, but UB40 were back for another New Zealand tour. Well pardon my lack of enthusiasm. It's not that, like most critics, I don't have much time for their MOR reggae. I... > Read more