Mixed Culture: Movement in Roots/Moving in Dub (Jah Youth)

 |   |  1 min read

MIxed Culture: Anhelo
Mixed Culture: Movement in Roots/Moving in Dub (Jah Youth)

No sentient being could doubt the global reach of reggae which we have essayed previously . . . but it is rarely better evidenced than the existence of this double CD: one disc of the rootsy songs; the other of dub versions.

The family of this group's founder, Cisco Lagomarcina, returned to their homeland Peru from New Jersey in the Nineties where he discovered roots reggae (music from Jamaica speaking to a displaced NJ boy in Peru remember).

So when he moved to Florida he formed Mixed Culture whose members come from Jamaica, the US, Haiti, Colombia and South Africa.

Unfortunately, aside from a few suggestions of Burning Spear's stern and declamatory tone in a few places, much of this defaults to the usual Rasta/reggae lyrical and rhythmic tropes which we in Aotearoa have been swamped by.

And too many songs are weighed down by wordiness, although they aim for worthiness.

The assertive celebration of marijuana's spiritually elevating power on Ganga – it promises insight through higher meditation – is undercut but the fact much of this is intellectually reductive if not downright stoopid.

On Tuff Road the Old Testament ethos hijacks them and we're told they used to take out the wicked and stone them to death. Those were the days, huh?

41fRU0aXYIL._SS500The dub versions are marginally more interesting because, by mostly dispensing with the words, the spotlight comes back on the melodies and rhythms.

But the mid-tempo raw material wasn't that strong so this – with the exception of pieces like the deep and dark ITL Dub – rarely rises above its limitations.

Or takes you down to the doom-laden caverns that the great dub production can do.

Disappointing . . . especially given the opening track Anhelo offered the promise of a different direction into a reggae with Spanish influences.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Reggae articles index

Dub Inc : So What (dub-inc.com)

Dub Inc : So What (dub-inc.com)

This French outfit – who do exactly what their band name claims – appeared in New Zealand at the 2014 Womad and were rightly acclaimed . . . although selling reggae to a Kiwi... > Read more

HERBS, NEW ZEALAND'S POLITICISED REGGAE REVOLUTION INTO THE HALL OF FAME (2012): Hard tings an' times

HERBS, NEW ZEALAND'S POLITICISED REGGAE REVOLUTION INTO THE HALL OF FAME (2012): Hard tings an' times

When Herbs emerged at the start of the 1980s they were a very different band from the avuncular, mainstream entertainers they became. The original five-piece was managed by the former president... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WOMAD ARTIST 2015: Lake Street Dive

WOMAD ARTIST 2015: Lake Street Dive

Bridget Kearney, the acoustic bassist and songwriter in Boston's Lake Street Dive, says they have taken the tortoise approach to a career. “It's been a slow crawl,” she says,... > Read more

Roy Budd: Get Carter soundtrack (Silva Screen/Southbound)

Roy Budd: Get Carter soundtrack (Silva Screen/Southbound)

The classic Brit-film Get Carter of '71 -- Michael Caine in a career-defining role as a London gangster out for revenge in grim Newcastle -- could have come with a period soundtrack, but Bowie and... > Read more