Kalbata and Mixmonster who have just released ‘Congo Beat the Drum’ on Society of Sound, focus on the music that has influenced their own work. Put simply they say “Ten tracks we want you to listen to!”
“Here is a list of ten tracks we have chosen for you. They are all part of this project in one-way or another. They all influenced us directly or indirectly while working on this album. Even though this album salutes Jamaican music and culture, we had a lot more in our minds while working on it. So only half of these following records are Jamaican made”.
Here we have all the basic ingredients: a drum, a voice and a melody. This is a field recording – live, natural, no studio, no production. It was recorded, straight to tape, by Alan Lomax in his 1959-60 Southern Journey. Reissued in 2010 by Mississippi Records.
Joe Meek, who wrote this sci-fi instrumental classic, was a pioneer in recording techniques and music production. In the original recording, the lead instrument is a unique and rare keyboard – the Clavioline that is always a little bit out of tune. In this version by Boom Pam, the lead melody played on an analog synthesizer by our very own: Kutiman.
This is a Turkish song, originated by Nese Karabocek, sung here by a 16 years old Israeli singer and backed by the Israeli synthesizer wizard Marko Bachar. Released in 1978 on the Koliphone label and was very rare until it was recently reissued by Fortuna Records.
A few years ago, we produced our first track together. This is a moog driven raw funk with heavy phased drums. Released in 2008 on the German MPM label.
Mixmonster was on board when this Israeli post-funk outfit recorded it live in Real World Studios in August 2010. This was first released exclusively by B&W’s Society Of Sound under the title “Looking For Trouble” and later on as “Fly On It” on the Audio Montage Label.
An obscure Rub-A-Dub record comparing a beautiful girl to a bottle of Pepsi. Priceless lyrics and a heavy riddim by the Roots Radics. Reissued by Spring Hill Records.
This tune was mixed by King Tubby, the musicians are the Roots Radics. This combination creates the sound that defines the early dancehall style. Back in 2009, our friend Ranking Levy went to Jamaica with a riddim we made, and came back with vocal tracks by Jah Thomas and Little John. Soul Jazz released these recordings on a 12” titled “Sugar Plum Plum”.
In April 2012 in Kingston, we spent two weeks in Thomas’ house and under his watchful guarding. He not only voiced one of the tracks on the album, but also helped us to connect with all the other artists, and booked us studio time and engineers.
A dark, haunting track by the King of Ska, Prince Buster. Defying the limits of the genre and taking us on a voodoo journey in the dark alleys of the Kingston port.
Jah Thomas again, this great track was the first reggae reference we used when we started working on the instrumentals and what we told Thomas we were after vocally. A beautiful combination, with a very young Levy, who was first brought into the scene by Thomas.
The mother of all ‘steppers’ dub tracks. This is as deep as it gets. Mixed by King Tubby, ‘intro’d’ by Jah Thomas, what more can you ask for? Trivia fact: Joe Gibbs passed away and his studio in downtown Kingston is now a supermarket called ‘Gibson’s Wholesale’ run by his children.