I’ve always been pretty unsure about attempts to copy old styles of Jamaican music, be it “authentic” ska bands or efforts to faithfully reproduce the 70’s roots sound that frequently end up sounding either slavishly patronising or just plain wrong. The one exception I’d make is the recent spate of releases that have mimicked the minor chord digital sound of the late 80’s.
Perhaps it’s because those days aren’t so far in the past and are something more than a distant memory, or maybe it’s just that the style is easier to reproduce in the modern age, either way there are some fine sounding tunes coming out.
The undisputed leaders of this style are the Jahtari crew on their Jahtari and Maffi labels, but plenty of others have gone for a piece of the action. The latest of note is a tune called Digital Time by veteran Dixie Peach on an Echo Cop 10″ out of Japan, this is a remarkable piece of 1986 style digital reggae. A great rhythm, a quality vocal and a killer dub, what else do you want? There are a couple of other vocals on the same rhythm on the flip side (Graffiti Boys by Pupajim and High Pressure by Diegojah) but it’s the Dixie Peach piece you’ll want to get this for.