Wayne Smith – Mr. Sleng Teng Dies aged 48


Very very sad, way too young, but the best way to illustrate quite what an impact he had on Jamaican music is best served by listening to multiple versions on the riddim his original spawned. Run Tape…
February 18, 2014 01:49 PM PST
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Wayne Smith has died aged only 48. He and King Jammy bust Reggae wide open yet again when it went digital with the epoch defining track Under Mi Sleng Teng. Presented here is a show from many many years ago, non stop lay of some of my own favourite cuts of this truly MASSIVE riddim. Listen and weep.
Some riddims never die and this is one, his epitaph.

I’ll be taking this down after a month or so, so now is your opportunity…

Sleng Teng Extravaganjah!

A near 50 minute continuous Mix on the Sleng Teng Rhythm. The Rhythm that defines Digital Reggae to this day.
Look out for the following cuts, they’re my personal favourites… Shinhead’s – ‘Know How Fi Chat’, John Wayne’s – ‘Call The Police’ and Johnny Osbourne’s – ‘Buddy Bye Bye’.
King Jammy reigns supreme. I would have liked to include some Studio One cuts to the rhythm, but unfortunately their BPM/Tempo didn’t range in with Jammy’s original cut too well… I’ll try to get them out on a later podcast… they would have been..Jim Brown’s – ‘Nowadays Version’ and Pupa Freddie’s – ‘Zoo Party’. Ah well all good things come to those who podcast. winking

Tracklisting (Continuous Mix Running Order)

1. Tony Asher – Our Teng Version
2. Sugar Minott – Jam In The Street
3. Shinehead – Know How Fi Chat
4. Wayne Smith – Sleng Teng
5. Woodie Noble – Ram Jam Session
6. Eccleton Jarrett – Dancehall Music
7. Nicodemus – Eagles Feather
8. John Wayne – Call The Police
9. Echo Minott – Hand Pon The Key
10.Luciano and Cocoa Tea – Mr. Govenor
11.Echo Minott – Under Mi Fat Thing
12.Singie Singie – Tell Them What You Know
13.Super Morris – Under Mi Peter Green
14.Anthony Red Rose – Under Mi Fat Thing
15.Tonto Irie – Every Posse Come In
16.Wayne Smith and Bounty Killer – Sleng Teng Ressurection
17.Sizla – Someone Loves You
18.Dicky Ranking – Rap Man
19.Johnny Osbourne – Buddy Bye Bye
20.Tenor Saw – Pumpkin Belly
21.Luciano – Dancehall Style

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Thoughts on the passing of Amy Winehouse


Dead dead dead, dead as a Dodo…

Lilly livered get out clause…

As I begin to write this I have to say, that I, know bugger all of the ‘truth’ in this matter and my perspective can only ever be that of a listener and as a digester of whatever the media cared to throw at me during Ms. Winehouse’s career. Only her family and those close to her will ever know the truth. Everyone though has their angle.

Mourning

Many will not mourn the passing of Amy Winehouse. Many will see her as an average talent amongst much else that is jaw droppingly mundane in the scene of British popular music circa the 2000s. She was undoubtedly disturbed, self-indulgent, inward looking, tearfully sentimental in that way only the lost soul of a teenager can be, without a backward glance or self-critical say so; but she was one great singer, she was a talent I believe to rival the greats, or could have been, given the chance and the opportunity.

On an off day she could vocally out manoeuvre her nearest rivals and I believe probably leave them wishing she do something as stupid as fuck things up. She did this, most royally of course. Talentless ‘squeekers’ like Duffy could never fill the fissures now that a true star has fallen from the firmament.

Above all though, and depressingly so, once success hit, she was a commodity bought and sold and then personally let down I believe by family, friends and her management, by her record label, her minders and everyone else INVESTED in her.

27 and an adult?

Sure she was 27 and no doubt considered herself an adult and capable of making her own decisions when she passed away. Where were the management that professed love for her.. where was ‘love’ when handlers pushed her onto an Eastern European stage only half a month ago when SHE said ‘I don’t want to go on’ and was in no fit state to do so..? It seems as though those that should have cared weren’t there for her, or perhaps there was no opportunity to help. Whatever the true story behind the tradgedy of her addiction and struggle it seems to me, that she was let down.

So family have said that Amy was always a wild spirit who knew her own mind and couldn’t be controlled, I wonder if she was just looking, as young children do, for boundaries, for someone to love her enough to make up some rules, or someone to say ‘enough is enough’. No one did, and after her success no one wanted to dared, or could probably have got close enough to impose any single will upon her. However desperate the situation.

Of course there is always addiction, an affliction that she and many others have, but every addict I have ever known was in some way physically or sexually abused, or nurtured some deep schism in the dark recesses of their un-shared soul. It wasn’t so much the addiction in my experience as the need to plaster over the cracks that led to those that I have known harming and in one or two cases killing themselves as a result.

Devil at the Crossroads?

Many performers I believe are fractured people who ply their trade for more, much more, than financial reward. The average Joe doesn’t feel the draw or need to please other people and the love (supposed) that returns to them by way of this bargain. And will not understand the contract that Winehouse and others like her sign for themselves. Perhaps this is the contract, the very same one, that Robert Johnson who died at 27 years of age, or Jimi Hendrix who also suffered loss when his mother left the family home (and died at 27), signed with the Devil at the Crossroads.

Fractured

It is no surprise to me that she enrolled in Acting school in the same year as her father left home, one wonders what hole is created by loss and how it might be subsequently filled? The adulation associated with succesful performance seems a candidate fo gap filler. But no doubt, like many before her have found, once success comes your way, there is nothing real to fill the gaping hole of loss and sadness with, there is in the end, only you and if you have it, love for yourself. Is this who Amy Winehouse was? Only her family and friends will know, but I think it’s how I saw her and how I see her now.

But what I heard was someone with all the ability of Billie Holliday, (Tony Bennett likened her to Dinah Washington) but with the recorded output of a crowd pleaser. I think, had she lived to a ripe old age, circled by earlier successes and had re-negotiated the contract between herself and the World she might have had the opportunity to show us more than just a spark of genius.

She was that good. As it is, we’re left wondering and wishing.

Amy Winehouse was someone’s child, don’t forget that.

Sugar Minott passes away


Sad news coming in today that Lincoln Sugar Minott has passed away.

As yet unconfirmed by any direct source, the word is that he’d been ill for a time and passed away on the 10th July.

From Dave Hendley on the Pama Reggae Forum – http://s7.zetaboards.com/PAMA_FORUM/topic/8318245/1/#new

‘Just come off the phone from David Rodigan. Sugar died yesterday, details are a bit sketchy and unsubstantiated but he’d been ill for a little while.
Very shocked and saddened to hear this. I had lots of dealings with Sugar in the late 70s & early 80s & I always considered him a friend- He was a truly lovely guy and a hugely talented artist. Quite unbelievable news.’

It appears that he had problems with Angina and had a heart attack late on Saturday night.

A loss

I believe that what makes the passing of Sugar so sad is that he was only 54 and had in his short life helped so many people along the way. Staying amongst his people and in his community and guiding and nurturing new talent with Youthman Promotion his organisation. Some might argue that he and the Lone Ranger were virtually solely responsible for the revival and survival of Studio One during the 80s too, such was their effect on riding afresh the old and now classic rhythms of Studio One.

You only ever hear good things about Sugar Minott too, he was obviously a good man, not just a great singer.