Ring the Alarm: A History of Sound System Culture

I’ve taken the title of this long overdue post from a radio documentary by none other than David Katz (with Saxon Baird). Katz is the acclaimed author of seminal works such as People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae, as well as music journalist, photographer, A&R consultant, disc jockey and reggae historian. If you haven’t yet heard this radio documentary check it out now for a fullsome discussion which gives life through the many voices heard to written pieces such as ‘A History of the Sound Clash’ by Erin MacLeod and Joshua Chamberlain.

http://daily.redbullmusicacademy.com/2016/10/a-history-of-soundclash

Take a listen. I had a thing or two to say.

Ring the Alarm: A History of Sound System Culture http://www.afropop.org/37304/ring-the-alarm-a-history-of-sound-system-culture/

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@SpiceOfficial: The Dancehall Queen Of The Stage!

13th Street Promotions

We salute the “Stage Show Boss” in this post. As the saying goes, “Give people Flowers while they can still smell them”. Big up Spice!

The Throne for the Dancehall Queen is currently vacant, and there could only be one who ascends to claim her rightful place at the top of Dancehall. The genre is now in the Era of “The Spicy 1“, and though her given name is Grace Latoya Hamilton, we know her as Spice! Never been far from the spotlight, Spice proved time and time again that she’s in a lane of her own with no contenders. From acting, to singing, deejaying, to dancing, she’s multifaceted and continues to have an edge among her peers.

Words by King David x SwadeDaVillain

Since her debut, Spice has always been one to push boundaries in Dancehall as a Female Artist. She will always be known for being…

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Global Reggae Conference – Call

GLOBAL REGGAE CONFERENCE

“DANCEHALL, MUSIC AND THE CITY”

FEBRUARY 9 – 11, 2017

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 Call for Papers

The Institute of Caribbean Studies and the Reggae Studies Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus announce the fifth bi-ennial Global Reggae Conference  under the theme “Dancehall, Music and the City”. This conference is being staged at a time when we celebrate Bob Marley’s birth and the very foundation, the space – dancehall – through which the world has consumed seven distinct musical genres in mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae, nyabinghi, dub and dancehall. This conference also comes at a time when Kingston celebrates its designation as a creative city for music by UNESCO in December 2015. 

The conference intends to open discussions about contemporary considerations for Jamaican music spaces, genres, cross-fertilization, production and economy using Kingston as a backdrop for discussing the foundational space of the dancehall as a main theme.  

The conference will also honour the work of Professor Carolyn Cooper, CD, founder of the Global Reggae Conference, Bob Marley Lecture Series and the Reggae Studies Unit. Her contributions to the field of cultural studies have paved the way for researchers and practitioners, often bridging the gap in research and practice for Jamaican popular music genres, reggae, and especially dancehall. 

Slated for Reggae Month 2017, the conference will provide a platform for timely updates on discussions, research and development in reggae and dancehall locally, regionally and internationally. GRC2017 offers academics, researchers, artistes, musicians, scholars, cultural practitioners, entrepreneurs and music lovers from around the world a warm and welcoming environment to share their research, experiences, perspectives and passion for Jamaican music. 

Chronixx

Conference themes include but are not limited to the following:

·         Researching the Dancehall: Lessons from Carolyn Cooper

·         Kingston: Creative Music City

·         Dancehall as Space and Place

·         Dancehall: From Then Till Now

·         Sound Systems, Sonic Innovations and Performance

·         Popular Jamaican Music and Economic Development

·         Creativity and Economy: Appropriation or Cross-Fertilization?

·         Dancehall, Social Media and Jamaica’s Influence

·         Dancehall, Sound Regulation and Entertainment Zoning

·         Dancehall Culture, Violence and Governance

·         Dancehall Music, Rites, Rituals and Celebratory Practices

·         Movement and Dance in Dancehall

·         Dancehall: The People’s Church?

·         Dancehall, Sexuality and the City

 Abstract Submission and Presentation Guidelines

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words for individual presentations. For pre-organised panels, include one abstract for each presenter. Each abstract should include the following information: name of author/authors; email address/es; name of associated institution; and keywords of presentation.

                        img_0254img_1365img_2002img_0672Shaggy

We welcome innovative uses of technology and creative session formats as well as traditional paper presentations.

DEADLINE FOR ALL SUBMISSIONS IS NOVEMBER 15, 2016.

NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE WILL BE MADE BY NOVEMBER 30, 2016.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF FULL PAPERS IS JANUARY 1, 2017.

All participants will have to register by January 1, 2017 in order to have their papers included in the final programme.

Contact the Global Reggae Conference 2017 Secretariat with queries at:

Institute of Caribbean Studies 

Email: globalreggaeconference@gmail.com 

Tel: 1 (876) 977 – 1951 |  970 – 6228

Just How Well Is Streaming Really Doing?

As we settle into the Digital Information Age where music consumption and revenue streams have been significantly transformed, I continue to pay attention to the phenomenon of streaming. Here’s an interesting update on just how well streaming is doing. The question is – who is making the money and, where are markets such as the Caribbean in that mix.

Music Industry Blog

All of the three major record labels announced strong streaming music revenue growth in the 2nd quarter of 2016. On the surface it is a clear cut success story, but as is so often the case with music industry statistics, all is not quite how it seems.

The Global Streaming Market

First of all, let’s look at the global picture. According to the IFPI’s Recording Industry in Numbers (RIN) 2016 edition record label streaming revenue grew by 45% in 2015 reaching $2.9 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 2014. But even that number requires a little due diligence. The IFPI restates its historical numbers every year to reflect the current year’s exchange rates, which can, and does, overstate things. Indeed, a quick look at the 2015 edition of RIN shows that streaming revenue was reported as $2.2 billion for 2014. So on a non-adjusted basis (i.e. without restating the…

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Is YouTube Building A New Music Industry?

I have long been saying that the internet is the world and Google is its Prime Minister. It seems there is little else one needs than a Google account for social media, knowledge production, word processing, music consumption and distribution, video streaming and the art of ‘copywronging’. A major part of the equation is YouTube which has certainly had a major chunk of the streaming market. Youth all over the world now consume and distribute music via this medium creating very dynamic ways of interacting both with music and its producers. More generally, YouTube has been “portrayed as pretty much everything that is wrong with the digital music market. While there is no doubt that YouTube’s revenue-to-audience ratio is below that of audio streaming peers, it is also clear that YouTube is the music app of choice for more consumers than any other service (and it’s growing faster too). YouTube is both a crucially important part of the digital music market and a disruptive partner.”

And there’s more….

Music Industry Blog

Complexity and opacity continue to act as brakes on the digital music market. For all the progress of companies like PledgeMusic and Kobalt, this emerging ‘alternative’ music industry is still very much at a formative stage. Some years from now this generation of companies could underpin the emergence of a counter-industry, an interconnected mesh of disruptive rights and tech companies that give artists and songwriters different routes to market and greater transparency and accountability. Heck, it might even have Blockchain underpinning it. But before this counter-industry movement gets to scale, it could have the wind stolen out of its sails by none other than YouTube.

The YouTube Paradox

Although YouTube has never had the closest of relationships with the music industry, it has clearly found the last few months particularly challenging, portrayed as pretty much everything that is wrong with the digital music market. While there is no doubt that…

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