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Reggae in Mourning: R.I.P. Sugar Minott
07.11.2010
11:57 am
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Heartbreaking news has come out of the death at 54 yesterday of the well-loved reggae singer, songwriter, producer and promoter Lincoln Barrington “Sugar” Minott. Born and raised in the ghetto in Kingston, Jamaica, Minott spent his teen years in the city’s sound system scene and recording for Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s legendary Studio One label. The albums he released at this time, like Live Loving, Ghetto-ology and Roots Lovers—along with singles like “Herbman Hustling” and “Rub a Dub Sound Style”—laid the groundwork for the gritty, soulful dancehall sound that reggae would work into for the next 20 years.

Minott was best known for breaking with Jamaica’s soul-singer tradition, which saw many crooners brandishing a refined style that aped American artists. Sugar was sweet, but not slick. Minott would eventually leave Studio One to start his Black Roots label and Youthman Promotion sound system in order to help out young singers also coming out in Kingston’s ghettos. He’s responsible for early recording or performances of legends like Ranking Joe, Barry Brown, Tenor Saw, Little John, Tony Tuff, Barrington Levy, Horace Andy, Nitty Gritty, Junior Reid, Yami Bolo, Daddy Freddy and Garnett Silk.

You’ll see evidence of his popularity below, as Minott can’t get through his first tune at his first Reggae Sunsplash in 1983 without the crowd demanding he pull up and bring it again.
 

 
But you got the best of Sugar in his element, singing with the youths in the dancehall—or in this case, Maxfield Park in Kingston, where his Youthman Promotions sound regularly performed:
 

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Posted by Ron Nachmann
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07.11.2010
11:57 am
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Thirty-nine years gone, Jim Morrison predicted electronic soul—but not Plunderphonicized Doors…
07.09.2010
04:57 pm
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Detroit techno soldier Monty Luke hepped me to this rather remarkable clip from an unnamed American music show in 1969. It seems apropos since last week marked the 39th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death, and his ghost still haunts what once was the Doors Workshop in Los Angeles. Below, the LizKing notes that music in the future “might rely heavily on electronics and tapes” and feature performers “using machines.”

You think he figured that electronic music geniuses like John Oswald a.k.a. Plunderphonics would have such a blast blowing out the Doors, as shown in the fan video after the jump?
 

 

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Posted by Ron Nachmann
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07.09.2010
04:57 pm
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The King Meets the President in Africa: Michael Jackson vs. Fela Kuti
06.25.2010
06:19 pm
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The wonderful Tracii Macgregor at Gargamel Music hepped me to this latest project put together by New York hip-hop DJ/producer/scene-vet Rich Medina. Like any device, the mash-up/remix can yield a good amount of garbage (Gaga vs. Bieber, etc.), unless the sources are well-chosen and assembled.

It hardly gets better than pop king Michael vs. Nigeria’s Afrofunk prez Fela Kuti—much has been made of how Fela and James Brown mutually influenced each other, so the R&B/Afrofunk connection is hardly a surprise. Medina’s put together 10 rounds of it for The King Meets the President in Africa, which is downloadable for free. Unfortunately, the videos below are uncredited—if Rich did these as well, I’d consider him even more of a badman talent than I already do.
 

Thriller vs. Zombie from MJ Fela on Vimeo.

 

Billie Jean is Shakara from MJ Fela on Vimeo.

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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06.25.2010
06:19 pm
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Rest in Perversity: Sebastian Horsley
06.17.2010
06:06 pm
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Eight days after the West End premiere of the play based on his autobiography, Dandy in the Underworld, top-hatted London-based extreme artist and lifestylist Sebastian Horsley was found dead this morning at age 47 of an apparent heroin overdose.

Born to wealthy alcoholics, Horsley is best known for traveling to the Philippines to be crucified as part of his research for a set of paintings dealing with the topic. But besides his arcane fashion sense, penchant for whoring, and ability to make the scene—running with the likes of Nick Cave, Current 93, Coil and others—Horsley was an accomplished painter and writer, and a guy with a drawling accent who could hold court in a red velvet chair with the best of them.

The Soho Theatre cancelled tonight’s performance of Dandy…, but will continue on tomorrow. Our own Richard Metzger put it best when told the news: “How sad that the world has one less total pervert.”
 

 
Get: Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography (P.S.) [Book]

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann
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06.17.2010
06:06 pm
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