Tag Archives: Mouth

Ten German Hard Rock Bands Bridging Present and Past

Heat

Heat

Bands from the U.S. and U.K. were responsible for some of the most significant contributions to the formation of hard rock—plenty has been written extolling the virtues of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult, the Alice Cooper Band, and other such luminaries. But so much of this lionizing tends to overlook Germany’s significant contributions to the genre. Bands like Scorpions (and one-time guitarists Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth, who would go on to join/form other influential outfits) darkened heavy blues, while krautrock-related prog artists like Lucifer’s Friend and Amon Düül II helped bring in a healthy experimental approach. Over the years, the genre has remained vibrant throughout the country, whether it’s gone in a metal (Accept), art-punk (Nina Hagen), or AOR direction (Pink Cream 69).

Continue reading

The Everlasting Impact of Digi-Dub

Equiknoxx

Equiknoxx by Jik Reuben.

If you believe the legend, digi-dub first emerged in the streets of Jamaica from a simple Casio MT-40 keyboard and a “rock” preset. In the hands of the late MC Wayne Smith and the legendary producer King Jammy, that preset was the backbone for Under Mi Sleng Teng, the first digital riddim that ushered in the era of digital-dub in 1984. Before then, the studio artistry of producers like Jah Shaka, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Augustus Pablo relied on full bands recorded in proper studios. Digi-dub democratized all that; it eventually came to be embraced by reggae’s originators, giving sound systems a new beat.

“Growing up in Jamaica, you have to develop an entrepreneurship mentality to get your music heard,” says digi-dub pioneer Carl Meeks. Since the late ’80s, Meeks has crafted some of digi-dub’s founding riddims, spending his early days in Jamaica hand-delivering 45s to record stores and bribing the staff with free meals to get his music heard. “It’s very competitive,” he says. “You gotta have some toughness in you, because people want to bully you. You need it to survive, man.”

His breakout was No More Secret, a lovers rock ode to hidden romance first recorded in King Tubby’s legendary studio. “That was big for me,” he says, describing his experience recording with the dub icon. Wah Dem Fah and Danger, a record that helped define the Redman International label as a home for Jamaican greatness from the mid ’80s, came next. “The riddim, the samples, the drums and bass, the Casio keyboards, everything in digi-dub just comes together like sand on the shore,” he says. Continue reading