»Lovers Rock« gilt als erstes britisches Reggae Sub-Genre, welches
übernationalen Erfolg feierte. Beeinflusst vom jamaikanischen Sound,
wurde Lovers Rock zum vorherrschenden Genre der UK Szene Mitte der
siebziger Jahre bis in die späten achtziger Jahre.
Entwickelt wurde Lovers Rock als Gegenbewegung zu dem eher militanten
Stil des Roots-Reggae und wurde hauptsächlich von amerikanischen R&B
und dem gefühlvollem Soul des jamaikanischen Rock Steady Sounds der
sechziger Jahre beeinflusst.
Als "Mr. Isaacs" 1977 erstmals als LP-Vinyl erschien, war der Grundstein für die internationale Karriere zum Superstar des Reggae gelegt. Unter der Federführung von Produzent Ossie Hibbert und seinen Musikerkollegen von den Revolutionaries wurde der Interpret Gregory Isaacs zum Markenzeichen im Albumformat! - Mit einigen seiner größten Songs wie "Set The Captives Free", "Slave Master" (im Kultfilm "Rockers" prominent vertreten), "Storm" (der Riddim kommt in über 75 Versionen zum Einsatz), "Smile", "Get Ready" (Reggae-Cover des Rare Earth Hits), kommt der Longplayer dieser Tage als Kevin Metcalfe Remaster als 9-Track Originalalbum in einer Fan-Edition mit Sleeve Notes und bedruckter Innenhülle inklusive großformatiger Fotos.
Among the most important full-length album works from one of reggae’s greatest singers, "Mr. Isaacs" shows the great Gregory Isaacs in the prime of his career in 1976/1977. Better known for his love songs, Isaacs was equally adept at cultural themes. The tracks "Set The Captives Free" and "Slave Master" are among the most popular in his catalogue, the latter immortalized on film in the movie 'Rockers'. The track "Storm" became an early favourite in the dancehall, its rhythm track (aka the Storm riddim) is re-imagined no fewer than 75 times over the last 40 years. Gregory Isaacs love of Rocksteady shines in his cover of the Silvertones’ "Smile", and his soulful side comes through on a cover of The Temptations’ "Get Ready". The breadth of material on "Mr. Isaacs" is the hallmark of a reggae classic!
Soul Jazz Records ‘Life Between Islands’ collection coincides with the launch of Tate Britain’s exhibition of the same name. This landmark exhibition explores the links between Caribbean and British art and culture from the 1950s to now.
Soul Jazz Records album, sub-titled “Soundsystem Culture – Black Musical Expression 1973-2006,” focuses on the most important Black British musical styles to emerge out of the distinctly Caribbean world of sound systems. The album features an all-star line-up including Dennis Bovell, Shut Up and Dance, Cymande, Digital Mystikz, Brown Sugar, Funk Masters, Janet Kay, Ragga Twins and more.
The album is a lightning-rod journey across Roots Reggae, Jungle/Drum & Bass, Jazz-Funk, Lovers Rock, Jazz, Dubstep and more. Much of Soul Jazz Records’ catalogue comes out of these genres and this album is partly an overview of some of Soul Jazz’s earlier releases (including Digital Mystikz’ long-deleted groundbreaking and now highly-collectible single, ‘Misty Winter’) alongside some choice rare and classic tunes that span over 30 years of sound system culture.
Many of the tracks represent how Black British artists defined their own identity with songs such as Brown Sugar’s righteous ‘Black Pride’, ‘I’m In Love with A Dreadlocks’ and Tabby Cat Kelly’s powerful ‘Don’t Call Us Immigrants’. Aside from being musically rooted in the distinctly Jamaican-born phenomenon of the sound system, much of this identity is also shaped by the triangular relationship of being British-born, of Caribbean heritage, and with an equal love of African-American Jazz, Funk and Soul, as evidenced with many Lovers Rock tunes reggae covers of American soul tunes (such as those of Jean Carn, William de Vaughan and Rose Royce featured here). This stateside influence can also be heard in groups such as the Funk Masters, a group formed by reggae radio DJ Tony Williams, whose jazz-funk music successfully crossed over into New York’s clubland, as well as the great Cymande, whose unique street-funk became staple material for numerous US hip-hop artists in the years that followed.
In the early 1990s, jungle and drum and bass artists took the essence of reggae’s soundsystem culture – MCs, dubplates, crews – and applied them to their own music, applying heavy reggae bass lines to intense double-speed drum breakbeats. At the forefront of this new movement were the duo Shut Up and Dance, working closely with The Ragga Twins, aka Deman Rocker and Flinty Badman, both MCs for North London’s infamous Unity reggae soundsytem. In the early 2000s, dubstep, spearheaded by Digital Mystikz, became the latest instalment in this ever-evolving soundsystem culture.