Reggae

John Brown’s Body – The Gold

One of the reasons I love SoundCloud more than any other music platform is its uncanny ability to randomly find new songs that I really enjoy.  There are many platforms that employ this concept, but the rate at which they serve up new songs that I actually really like is much lower than SoundCloud.  I don’t know whether it’s a function of having a better algorithm or just having more and better independent music on tap, in either case, it seems to be my go-to platform for music discovery.

Recently, I came across this song while driving, and was scrambling to unlock my phone and hit the “like” button to save this to my Soundcloud playlist (I waited until I was at a light though!).  It’s by an American reggae band called “John Brown’s Body”, whose members hail from Boston, Massachusetts and Ithaca, New York.  The track is called “The Gold” and this particular version has a Canadian connection.  It’s a remix by Juno award winning producer Dubmatix (a.k.a. Jesse King) who is from Toronto.  I love the whole tone of the song, and it carries that quintessential Jamaican roots vibe (which is why I was shocked to discover they were American).  I especially enjoy the horn section during the songs’ chorus.  They could have just made it repetitive and it would have sounded fine, but the subtle chord progression adds another dimension of appreciation for the track.  You can check out the track on SoundCloud below:

 

Considering this was a remix, I was intrigued to hear what the original sound like.  I started looking on YouTube (just in case there was a music video as well) but didn’t have any luck.  I was able to find this live extended version that was at a music festival in Colorado though.  It’s got some nice improvisation and the venue looks absolutely killer, would love to see a show here some day.

 

Eventually, I did find the original on SoundCloud.  The song is off an album called “Amplify” from 2008.  The Dubmatix remix came out in 2009 on an album aptly named “Re-Amplify” which contained a bunch remixes and dub versions of the tunes on “Amplify”.  While I like the original song as well, this is a rare case where I actually prefer the remixed version.  The original version feels a little more fast paced, and loses that roots vibe that I like so much in the Dubmatix version.  It’s also missing that nice chord progression that was added to the chorus in the remix for the horn section, and thus seems a little more monotonous.

 

Regardless of which version you prefer, there is definitely good reason to check out more music from this band.  Thanks to my Google Play Music subscription, I will easily be able to check out the rest of their albums!

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