|Reggae and dub pioneer, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. Image: TechLT on Flickr|
Thunderclap Newman memorably sang, ‘call out the instigators because there’s something in the air‘. I think they were saying that the summer of love would bring about an end to the old hierarchies and usher in new and progressive ways of doing things, possibly involving duffel coats and beads. But in a tenuous (yet nonetheless real) sense I think this hippie anthem could be speaking about my life right now, as I sit on my sofa in good old Forest Hill.
For me, change is in the air and, as the MC5 would say, it’s like drowning in molasses. Over the past month or so I’ve been gearing up for a shift in my working life. From here on in, I will be contributing to thinkpublic’s work on a project-by-project basis, alongside working on social innovation projects for different organisations.
In the midst of all this change I have also been giving some thought to the second part of Thunderclap’s lyric. Namely, ‘we’ve got to get together sooner or later because the revolution’s here’. Now, wiser heads than I might contend that it’s probably ill-advised to invest this much meaning in a pop song, but I am nonetheless determined to use this period of change in mind life to help us get together sooner or later.
And how do I plan to bring about said revolution? Given the parlous state of the global economy and the general uncertainty which we face day-to-day, I believe we will get together over 70s reggae and dub. Without going into too much beard-stroking analysis, I believe music from this period manages to combine sorrow, hope and fun with amazing sonic experimentation. And if my words aren’t doing anything for you, just check out this seminal track from King Tubby:
It’s still early days yet but I am convinced reggae music in general and dub in particular has a unique ability to bring people of different ages, races and backgrounds together. Over the coming weeks I’ll be exploring how I can develop this idea in my spare time. If nothing else, planning my dub revolution might be a refreshing tonic as I adjust to my new life as an associate.
Join my dub (club)
Do you share my belief in the power of reggae and dub? Would you be interested in exploring how this amazing music could be used to help people together and increase the wellbeing of our society? If so, drop me a line and let’s look to over(under)stand the issues.
Every revolution needs a soundtrack
Here are some choice tracks to let you know where I’m coming from: