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am 18. Mai 1999
MUCH MORE THAN MUSIC
Two Jamaican Reggae enthusiasts pen the history of reggae music from the Jamaican perspective - and end up giving us so much more.
REGGAE ROUTES - By Kevin O'Brien Chang and Wayne Chen
"Jamaica has less than one-twentieth of one percent of the world's population and produces even less of its wealth...In terms of popular music, though, it's the most fortunate nation on earth. Like everything else, reggae has had to adapt to a faster moving world. But it remains inarguably Jamaican, a rhythm in tune with its people, not only listened to all over the globe but still listening to itself." Such is the tone for Reggae Routes. From cover to cover, and with practically flawless consistency, lead author Kevin O'Brien Chang and co-author Wayne Chen bring to life the story of Jamaica's reggae music with the same frankness, pride and gutsy insight that punctuate this excerpt.
When asked what prompted him to write about reggae, Brien Chang just laughs. "Oh, I don't know! My friends and I used to spend a lot of time as youngsters talking and arguing about reggae and its evolution over the years. It was like a hobby of sorts." An understatement indeed! As the name implies, Reggae Routes walks the reader through the entire history of Jamaica's hallbrand of music, now globally famous, if not unmistakablly recognised. The work is no less than thorough in its research, one of its obvious strengths, with every musical contributor being given his or her fair share of the limelight. Fear not. Bob Marley, while featured prominently on the book's cover, does not upstage his colleagues.
In fact, the book is a virtual three-dimensional expose of reggae's history, with all aspects covered, or rather, uncovered. We are made privy to the many impromptu meetings, the social observations and the private battles that lay the path for the creation and promotion of the songs that we would eventually come to know and love, and which would eventually lead to the birth of entire musical trends. Humorous anecdotes about the naming of songs and the origins of names (even reggae itself) only begin to whet the appetite for information. From the origin of Kumina to the influence of Louise Bennett, the book's occasional scholastic touch is neatly balanced with its obviously entertaining flair. The careful but lively detail used in this account is a tribute and a compliment to Jamaicans and reggae fans alike who may already know some of the history. As if sharing the mircrophone in their own recording studio, the authors prudently and frequently share the voice of authority with every side involved in an issue. From song writers to producers, musicians to singers, the opinions positive and negative, contradictory and favourable are all included in the mix, and lend much credibility to the book. Readers will appreciate this approach by these two businessmen-turned-authors who use fact to support their views, rather than force an opinion with blind passion.
But if research and supportive facts are the canvas of this piece, then it is the fresh presentation and perspective employed that make Reggae Routes a masterpiece, and much more than an account of Jamaica's musical history. The book in efect also tells the story of social Jamaica in its post independence years, and makes the link between the nationalistic pride we searached for then and the role reggae played in helping us find it. The authors also include enough global perspective to remind us of how influenced and influential our island nation has been over the years. For the younger generation especially, many of these points will make for an eye-opener. In fact, "eye-opening" describes much of this book. It is virtually crammed with information for the taking. Written in any other way, it would have taken on a more didactic tone. But herein lies its other strength. It has been expertly crafted by two individuals who have managed to weave into the written word the same upbeat lilt natural to the book's subject. There is no disappointment here. Chang and Chen are gifted storytellers. They have written their book with the hearts and "nuffness" of two Jamaicans whose passion for reggae music could not be contained. They had said they were determined to write a book on reggae from the Jamaican perspective, but one which both Jamaicans and foreigners could appreciate and share. In the end, they accomplished their goal.
0Kommentar| 2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 28. Juli 1999
The newspaper reviews are right. Reggae Routes really is the new bible of Jamaican music. It makes every other book ever written on reggae look superficial - not surprising considering it's the only one ever written by someone born and bred in Jamaica. But it's more than just a great reggae book, it's an insightfull look at Jamaica and popular music in general. It's certainly a well researched book. The end chapter about Rastafarianism is the best piece I've ever seen on the subject. And Reggae Routes is wonderfully written, both stylish and funny. Once you start it you can't put it down. Simply a must buy for anyone interested in Reggae, Jamaica, Rastafarianism, or popular world music.
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am 18. Mai 1999
MUCH MORE THAN MUSIC
Two Jamaican Reggae enthusiasts pen the history of reggae music from the Jamaican perspective - and end up giving us so much more.
REGGAE ROUTES - By Kevin O'Brien Chang and Wayne Chen
"Jamaica has less than one-twentieth of one percent of the world's population and produces even less of its wealth...In terms of popular music, though, it's the most fortunate nation on earth. Like everything else, reggae has had to adapt to a faster moving world. But it remains inarguably Jamaican, a rhythm in tune with its people, not only listened to all over the globe but still listening to itself." Such is the tone for Reggae Routes. From cover to cover, and with practically flawless consistency, lead author Kevin O'Brien Chang and co-author Wayne Chen bring to life the story of Jamaica's reggae music with the same frankness, pride and gutsy insight that punctuate this excerpt.
When asked what prompted him to write about reggae, Brien Chang just laughs. "Oh, I don't know! My friends and I used to spend a lot of time as youngsters talking and arguing about reggae and its evolution over the years. It was like a hobby of sorts." An understatement indeed! As the name implies, Reggae Routes walks the reader through the entire history of Jamaica's hallbrand of music, now globally famous, if not unmistakablly recognised. The work is no less than thorough in its research, one of its obvious strengths, with every musical contributor being given his or her fair share of the limelight. Fear not. Bob Marley, while featured prominently on the book's cover, does not upstage his colleagues.
In fact, the book is a virtual three-dimensional expose of reggae's history, with all aspects covered, or rather, uncovered. We are made privy to the many impromptu meetings, the social observations and the private battles that lay the path for the creation and promotion of the songs that we would eventually come to know and love, and which would eventually lead to the birth of entire musical trends. Humorous anecdotes about the naming of songs and the origins of names (even reggae itself) only begin to whet the appetite for information. From the origin of Kumina to the influence of Louise Bennett, the book's occasional scholastic touch is neatly balanced with its obviously entertaining flair. The careful but lively detail used in this account is a tribute and a compliment to Jamaicans and reggae fans alike who may already know some of the history. As if sharing the mircrophone in their own recording studio, the authors prudently and frequently share the voice of authority with every side involved in an issue. From song writers to producers, musicians to singers, the opinions positive and negative, contradictory and favourable are all included in the mix, and lend much credibility to the book. Readers will appreciate this approach by these two businessmen-turned-authors who use fact to support their views, rather than force an opinion with blind passion.
But if research and supportive facts are the canvas of this piece, then it is the fresh presentation and perspective employed that make Reggae Routes a masterpiece, and much more than an account of Jamaica's musical history. The book in efect also tells the story of social Jamaica in its post independence years, and makes the link between the nationalistic pride we searached for then and the role reggae played in helping us find it. The authors also include enough global perspective to remind us of how influenced and influential our island nation has been over the years. For the younger generation especially, many of these points will make for an eye-opener. In fact, "eye-opening" describes much of this book. It is virtually crammed with information for the taking. Written in any other way, it would have taken on a more didactic tone. But herein lies its other strength. It has been expertly crafted by two individuals who have managed to weave into the written word the same upbeat lilt natural to the book's subject. There is no disappointment here. Chang and Chen are gifted storytellers. They have written their book with the hearts and "nuffness" of two Jamaicans whose passion for reggae music could not be contained. They had said they were determined to write a book on reggae from the Jamaican perspective, but one which both Jamaicans and foreigners could appreciate and share. In the end, they accomplished their goal.
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am 18. Mai 1999
MUCH MORE THAN MUSIC
Two Jamaican Reggae enthusiasts pen the history of reggae music from the Jamaican perspective - and end up giving us so much more.
REGGAE ROUTES - By Kevin O'Brien Chang and Wayne Chen
"Jamaica has less than one-twentieth of one percent of the world's population and produces even less of its wealth...In terms of popular music, though, it's the most fortunate nation on earth. Like everything else, reggae has had to adapt to a faster moving world. But it remains inarguably Jamaican, a rhythm in tune with its people, not only listened to all over the globe but still listening to itself." Such is the tone for Reggae Routes. From cover to cover, and with practically flawless consistency, lead author Kevin O'Brien Chang and co-author Wayne Chen bring to life the story of Jamaica's reggae music with the same frankness, pride and gutsy insight that punctuate this excerpt.
When asked what prompted him to write about reggae, Brien Chang just laughs. "Oh, I don't know! My friends and I used to spend a lot of time as youngsters talking and arguing about reggae and its evolution over the years. It was like a hobby of sorts." An understatement indeed! As the name implies, Reggae Routes walks the reader through the entire history of Jamaica's hallbrand of music, now globally famous, if not unmistakablly recognised. The work is no less than thorough in its research, one of its obvious strengths, with every musical contributor being given his or her fair share of the limelight. Fear not. Bob Marley, while featured prominently on the book's cover, does not upstage his colleagues.
In fact, the book is a virtual three-dimensional expose of reggae's history, with all aspects covered, or rather, uncovered. We are made privy to the many impromptu meetings, the social observations and the private battles that lay the path for the creation and promotion of the songs that we would eventually come to know and love, and which would eventually lead to the birth of entire musical trends. Humorous anecdotes about the naming of songs and the origins of names (even reggae itself) only begin to whet the appetite for information. From the origin of Kumina to the influence of Louise Bennett, the book's occasional scholastic touch is neatly balanced with its obviously entertaining flair. The careful but lively detail used in this account is a tribute and a compliment to Jamaicans and reggae fans alike who may already know some of the history. As if sharing the mircrophone in their own recording studio, the authors prudently and frequently share the voice of authority with every side involved in an issue. From song writers to producers, musicians to singers, the opinions positive and negative, contradictory and favourable are all included in the mix, and lend much credibility to the book. Readers will appreciate this approach by these two businessmen-turned-authors who use fact to support their views, rather than force an opinion with blind passion.
But if research and supportive facts are the canvas of this piece, then it is the fresh presentation and perspective employed that make Reggae Routes a masterpiece, and much more than an account of Jamaica's musical history. The book in efect also tells the story of social Jamaica in its post independence years, and makes the link between the nationalistic pride we searached for then and the role reggae played in helping us find it. The authors also include enough global perspective to remind us of how influenced and influential our island nation has been over the years. For the younger generation especially, many of these points will make for an eye-opener. In fact, "eye-opening" describes much of this book. It is virtually crammed with information for the taking. Written in any other way, it would have taken on a more didactic tone. But herein lies its other strength. It has been expertly crafted by two individuals who have managed to weave into the written word the same upbeat lilt natural to the book's subject. There is no disappointment here. Chang and Chen are gifted storytellers. They have written their book with the hearts and "nuffness" of two Jamaicans whose passion for reggae music could not be contained. They had said they were determined to write a book on reggae from the Jamaican perspective, but one which both Jamaicans and foreigners could appreciate and share. In the end, they accomplished their goal.
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am 26. März 1998
'Reggae Routes' claims to be the first book on reggae written by Jamaicans and covers every conceivable aspect of Jamaican music. The authors have an authentic feel for reggae and Jamaica and write quite stylishly. The photos and illustrations are excellent, the criticism is thought provoking and it's well researched - this is the only reggae book with footnotes I've ever seen and it's spiced with high spirited quotes from living legends past and present. I don't always agree with Chang and Chen's judgments, but on the whole their taste is pretty good and I can't seriously quarrel with their all-time reggae top 100 and dancehall top 30 lists. All in all it's a fascinating look at Jamaica through its music and is a must read for anyone interested in the country or its culture. I particularly enjoyed the asides on Jamaican women and men. 'Reggae Routes' is the best book on reggae or Jamaica I've seen and probably one of the best I've read on popular music.
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am 23. August 1998
If yu want Blues you go to New Orleans. If yu want Tango you go to Argentina. If yu want Fried Chicken, you go to the Coronel. But if yu want reggae, you must read "Reggae Routes". This book elicits all the sensory emotions and feeling that one must experience to really understand what reggae means to a Jamaican. And who to best argue these points than those who have lived, breathed and experienced the aura of reggae! Reggae and all its predecessors is the common bond the holds a jamaican a jamaican, no matter what part of the world they now recide. It is most gratifying to find a book that makes you feel jamaican even if it is too cold to feel yourself. This book should be recommended literature at all high schools in Jamaica, so that the youth of tomorrow can see this bond which holds us "Out of Many One People"!
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am 23. August 1998
Bloody brilliant. Chang and Chen know their stuff and give an indigenous overview of all the long and winding roads that reggae has travelled to become one of the most exciting popular music forms of the late 20th century, and being Jamaicans themselves are able to explore many of the less well travelled routes that many outsiders are unaware of. A real treat. Great to dip into. Keep it on your bedside table or in the loo. Good looking book too, well designed and lots of pictures.
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am 4. September 1998
Reggae Routes is entertaining, informative and thought provoking.. I really enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to anyone with any interest in Reggae, Jamaica or popular culture. It's really well designed and the fascinating photographs are beautifully integrated with the text. First rate stuff all around.
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am 22. August 1998
Toss those dust-covered art and history references into the backroom along with the old National Geographic's! Clear the coffee table and put Reggae Routes in the centre! If you like music or you're interested in reggae, Jamaica or even modern culture then this is the book to read.
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am 26. August 1998
This book will not only appeal to Reggae fans and historians, but to any one who has the slightest interest in Jamaican Culture. The material has apparently been thoroughly researched and is presented in manner which is both informative and easy to read.
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