I’ve had this tune in draft mode almost since I started TickuTalk, but never ended up posting it for one reason or another. The reason I’ve come back to it now is because, out of the blue on a few weeks ago on a Friday night while at El Rey Mezcal Bar (in Toronto’s famous Kensington Market), I heard the original classic by Errol Dunkley. This is such a massive, massive tune in reggae history and it has been sampled and covered countless times. Before we listen to the new song, let’s pay our respects to the original masterpiece by Errol Dunkley.
While all the covers of this song have something unique to offer, this Courtney John cover completely re-imagines the song with a futuristic sound he was calling “Rootstronic” back in 2013 when it was released. Electronic music as we know it today can trace its origins back to the island of Jamaica with the advent of dub music. The importance of dub music cannot be overstated as it was also impetus for the modern day remix. The pioneers of dub (luminaries such as Lee “Scratch” Perry and King Tubby) were essentially making analog electronic music by overlapping instrumental tracks and manipulating them with various effects at the mixing desk. These were recorded onto tape before making their way on to the B-sides of many reggae singles. So in a way, it’s quite fitting to see this reggae classic come full circle into the digital electronic music age.