Among others, as I’ll detail below, our spring line-up will include such wreck-shopping luminaries as Chicago juke alchemist DJ Rashad (4/4), veteran (and still #1) Boston reggae selector Junior Rodigan (4/17), and NYC bhangra ambassador DJ Rekha (5/1). We’ve been wanting to get all three of these masters of their craft to BR for a while, and I almost can’t believe it’s all going down in the next five weeks. Do help us set the experimental-party off if you’re in the area.
First, don’t forget that we’ve got the mighty Chief Boima in the house tonight, March 28! Check out this awfully nice post he put up for some context. Suffice to say, we’re just as happy to give the man a well-deserved platform. (And maybe to claim “First!“) I’m definitely a what-goes-around type of guy, and so I couldn’t be more pleased that Boima will also be giving a lecture in my global hip-hop class at Brandeis tomorrow night. He spent some time in Liberia last year, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about such thorny but important questions as how to ethically endeavor to play musical middleman.
Here’s something toward what it sounds like maybe –
Let me remind that Boima’s got a new release out on Dutty Artz called African in New York, which is great. But if you come to the club tonight, you not only get to hear tracks like those, you get to hear lots of other stuff they’re webbed up with in Boima’s memory (and his hard drive’s).
Wednesday, April 4 – DJ Rashad & Kat Fyte
In conjunction with the good people at Cluster Mag, and the Together Fest, we’re doing two things we don’t usually do: we’re conducting Beat Research on a Wednesday, and we’re asking for a modest $5 at the door. But, boy, what we have in store.
We’re enthused to report that our guest for the Fest will be DJ Rashad, one of the biggest players in the Chicago juke/footwork scene, especially with regard to its movement in the wider world — thanks in no small part to his releases on Planet Mu.
I can’t wait to hear Rashad at the Good Life. Those sustained 808 tones and insane tom rolls are gonna bang through that system. It may be the first time I’ll come close to hearing/feeling what they should really hear/feel like. But beyond the 808 wizardry, Rashad’s stuff also stands out with its fine ear for all sorts of samples, especially the sort of jazzy sources that once bedeviled many a hip-hop producer. He and his comrade DJ Spinn are quite the connoisseurs of the sample-flip (<3 the Edo G shout). Here's a taste (lots more here), where you can hear why London lads could lose their shit over this Chicago-bred style that creeps up on drum’n’bass without even meaning to –
We’re keeping it extra local this week with two DJs who together can cover much of this town’s illustrious musical history, from electro to rock to hip-hop and much else between and beyond. Longtime friends of Beat Research Pacey Foster and Brian Coleman have promised to “dig in their Boston crates and pull out cuts from all eras and genres (with the exception of experimental country-western from Metro West).” At times, it could sound like this —
Or this –
Tuesday, April 17 – Junior Rodigan & Irie La
Our big guest on April 17 should need no introduction, in Boston or beyond, but he sure deserves one. Taking his name from the legendary David “Ram Jam” Rodigan (aka Father Rodigan), Junior Rodigan moved to London from Iran as a kid and became totally enraptured by his namesake’s radio show, which gave him quite an education in reggae during his formative years. He moved to Boston as a young adult, and started rocking parties around town beginning in 1986, steadily building a solid rep.
For a short time in the early 90s Junior worked as a ragga-hiphop vocalist, recording for New York and Boston-based labels, and he owned and operated his own reggae store, Vibes Records, on Blue Hill Ave for more than a decade. Since the late 90s, he’s devoted nearly all his time to DJing, and these days he’s known as the drive-time DJ on Big City FM, Boston’s premiere Caribbean community radio station. Junior’s a longtime point-man for nuff visiting artists from Jamaica, with whom he has some serious rapport (see, e.g., 2min in: “me wan some original old time medley right now!”). Man talk the talk, seen.
Of course, Junior is a master of up-to-the-time chunes and classic catalogue numbers alike. For his special appearance at Beat Research, he’s going to do something he rarely gets to do on the radio or at gigs and dig into his deep crates in order to play cuts exclusively drawn from the foundation labels, Studio One and Treasure Isle, on which so much subsequent reggae is based. It’s bound to be a serious vibes. Once again, a great opportunity to experience this music as it was intended to be: as palpable, vibrational force.
This is quite a historic month for Junior, as it happens: just a couple nights earlier, on April 15, he’ll be holding a 25th anniversary bash at the Russell Auditorium featuring Stone Love & Steelie Bashment. If I were you — indeed, if I were me (which I am) — I’d want to catch both these events.
For now, though — since I gotta get running over to the club to warm things up for Boima — I’ll leave you with this amazing but tantalizingly brief clip of Junior Rodigan in ragga-rapper mode, amping up the crowd during RSO’s opening act for Naughty By Nature’s Boston debut way back in 1991. Unfuckwithable–
Oh, and we’re gonna have the added support of another DJ who’s held the torch for reggae here in Boston: Selectress Irie-La. It’s gonna be quite a night, fi true.
So yeah, a seriously fun month+ ahead. Do join us! More info will follow.
to be continued…