Bob Marley the father of techno

early sound system

Picture taken from hometheaterphotos

Techno is great music. The rhythm is simple, so it is very easy to shake your hips to the sound and when you take some “perception enhancing remedies” it does make the music even better. Now if you exchange techno with reggae in the first sentence, you got a pretty sound description of a completely different music style, wouldn’t you say?

Rave, the offspring of reggae

But those two actually have a lot in common. In fact techno, or rather rave is a bastard offspring of reggae. If you are interested in reading more about music history and ask yourself ”what is reggae?” Or “what is rave culture?”, just follow the links; others have answered those questions already quite good.

So how is reggae connected to rave? Well, a lot of the old school reggae would be played on so-called sound systems, which was basically just a truck with DJ equipment on it, to start free parties anywhere at any time. Because as you might realize, it is easier to flee from the police who wants to bust your party, when all your equipment is placed on a truck, which can just drive away.

Free parties in Jamaica and Britain

Now what worked for Jamaicans, certainly also worked for British, especially when you regard the interconnection between the two countries. The early ideas of free parties and the sound system as means to organize them, survived or rather got passed on to the next party culture. And so the first free raves in Britain were organized similarly to those in Jamaica. Even nowadays with rave culture being popularized and accepted, mainstream events still use the old Jamaican terms and so the DJ area is commonly known as the sound system and a DJ as a Selecta (another expression taken over by reggae slang).

But the relation of the two genres goes further than just expressions and drug usage. In fact the very techniques of producing rave music come from the reggae related dub music. Dub music probably was the first music to be exclusively produced by one person in a small room at home or in the studio, by the use of machines. Sounds familiar? Well, ask your common house music producers, how they create their music, and you know why.

Music in the house

Now it would be unfair to say that dub music was only produced by one person sitting behind a recording machine (in fact almost all the dub artists from older times had their house band playing for them), but its main emphasize lies on creating music by the alteration of the recordings, which are done solely by the dub artist/musician. And this ideal of how to produce music gave rise to the huge house music culture in the 80s in Britain. Musicians could use the new technologies (synthesizers and computers), to produce music at home in their own bed room – that’s actually where the term “house” in house music originates from.

So reggae has more in common with rave than you might have guessed. And in the end, simply put, both are about having fun with your friends. Or how Bob Marley & the Wailers put it in their song “punky reggae party”:

“it takes joyful sound
to make the world go round
come with your heart and soul
come and rock your bone”

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Categories: rave culture Montreal

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  1. The Artichoke - November 20, 2011

    […] a DJ, you can even get yourself a DJ profile and boost your local reputation. you can even rent a soundsystem for your next home party. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. Cheap Thrills – record store celebrates Birthday | The Artichoke - November 28, 2011

    […] of the oldest record stores in Montreal, better go there yourself and buy a nice LP to play on your soundsystem. That will not just celebrate the shop, but also music. And that’s what we are all about, […]

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