For this Studio One release we return to the roots of Reggae music-The Soundsystem. Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s Soundsystems played throughout the city of Kingston, Jamaica. As well as Sir Coxsone's Downbeat Soundsystem other famous Soundsystem operators included Duke Reid (the Trojan), Prince Buster, Tom the Great and King Edwards.
These Soundystems were the birthplace of much of Jamaica's musical culture Soundclashes, Dancehall and the idea of the Toaster who sang over records- theDJ. As ever Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd led the field and so for this release the focus is on DJ's at Studio One and features legendary toasters such as Denis Alcapone, Dillinger and Prince Far I as well as a host of rare material by lesser known artists. Also included is Count Machuki the original DJ- the first man ever to speak over the mic-at Sir Coxsone¹s Downbeat Sound System- from where it all began.
As Steve Barrow (author of The Rough Guide to Reggae/Blood and Fire Records) writes in the sleevenotes, Jamaican deejay music is the source for all Rap music: From Count Machuki talking over records on Sir Coxsone's legendary Downbeat Sound System this style would eventually travel to America when the Jamaican-born Kool Herc began playing at Block parties (a version of the Kingston Soundsystem parties) in the Bronx. Cutting up rare-groove classics for the first B-Boys to rap over, Hip-Hop was born and theDJ music that had started on the early Soundsystems of Kingston would go on to conquer the world!
Studio One Records is the original Jamaican record label. Studio One Records started the career of hundreds of Jamaican artists from Bob Marley to The Skatalites, from Horace Andy to The Heptones. Studio One DJs (compiled by Mark Ainley) is the next in the series of releases where Soul Jazz Records are showcasing the music of Studio One, the label that literally defines Reggae.