• Moon Rises Productions

Dubstep, Ska and Roots, Rock Reggae: Producing the Waliers and Mayatals

To the Caribbean island of Jamaica we venture and dig up some classical producers and the 2 band outfits they catapulted to rock immortality , Wailer and Mayatals. Even though the Mayatals were not commercial as the Wailers, they as important to Jamaican music history., Discovered by Coxsone Dodd in 1962 in the shanty town of Kingston, the band was supported by established outfit the Skatalites who inspired the gospel and worship soulful sound the Mayatals become synonymous with.


Clement Coxone Dodd. Image subject to copyright.


When they started recording with Lesley Kong in 1967, the movement of ska music transition to reggae was on the go. Kong passed away in 1971 and with that came the mentorship of Joe Higgs and Island records, catapulting to international tours.



Lesley Kong. Image Subject to Copyright.


Master pioneer of dub music in the 1970s is Lee Scratch Perry. He introduced the Wailers to remixing and studio sound effects to create new instruments of vocal versions of existing tracks. He Started off selling records for Coxsone Dodd in the 1950s, he would later join Joe Higgs and also start recording the notorious drum & base heavy early wailers EPs like 'Mr Brown', 'Soul Rebel' and 'Sun is Shining'. He would also form a record label, Upsetter Records and a band under the name The Upsetters. Rumor has it he would also create a feeling of upset wherever he went.


Lee Scratch Perry. Image Subject to Copyright.


Easily can be dubbed the ''Godfather'' of Jamaican music, Joe Higgs a earlier alluded, was a great mentor and tutor to both the Wailers and the Mayatals, the former with distinction. He also started offr with Coxsone Dodd, quickly made a lot of political connections with his links with uncle Sam favored Edward Seaga who would be Prime Minister in later years. He was also under the Island Record stable under Chris Blackwell which was a move that single-handedly monopolized the Caribbean music recording and publishing scene. Not without Controversy.


Joe Higgs. Image Subject to Copyright



The Wailers broke off one by one with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer refusing Island Record terms, who had signed the band with Bob Marley's drive and will. Joe Higgs became production replacement for the the two departed Wailers( Carlton and Aston Barrett stayed on a drum and bass duo). The outfit went to astrological heights as we know, at the expense of the life of its leaders and pioneers, Marley. After various assassination attempts from 1974 as the political climate of the island, together with the revolutionary message that was carried by the new Reggae music movement clashed, he eventually left his life in Jamaica as he liked it, became a refugee in London and toured the world till he died by a CIA linked cancer infusion conspiracy in 1981.It is said the One Love Peace Concert 3 years prior that brought Marley home was Joe Higgs' political doing, the godfather pulling the strings as it were. It would become to be known as the symbolism of Marley's' metaphoric cruxification to save Jamaica from a political civil war, making him a martyr whilst alive.


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