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December 15, 2007
Digital Laptop Reggae
Writing about web page http://www.jahtari.org
My iPod broke ages ago, and I haven’t had a portable music player since. While this is quite liberating in a way, it’s also a little annoying if when at work and battling with something on the computer (or simply going through a repetitive process) it’s nice to have some music to bob along to and ‘get in the groove’... as you do.
So I’ve been scouring places for streaming good music online, the obvious contenders being Last.fm and the Hype Machine, but I wasn’t quite satisfied. Okay, maybe I was, but I was still thinking of something a little bit different to the usual.
That’s when my fellow colleague sent a link over to Jahtari, a site claiming to be the pioneers in the genre of Digital Laptop Reggae, fully electronic sampled instruments, to the traditional ‘riddim’s of reggae or dub.
I was a bit put off at first, the chiptune tones of a reggae laptop remix of that C64 classic title track International Karate + (i.e. wtf), wasn’t quite what I had in mind. Searching around though and this first digital long player release is a pretty good indicator of what you have in store. A lot of the tracks lean more to the dub and deep side of reggae, which is possibly for the better, as the keys and chords simply don’t have the same crispness as a real guitar or organ. There’s plenty to peruse over as well, with a bucket load of digital seven-inches (complete with authentic ‘scratch’ noises!) and EP’s for stream and download that I can’t possibly go over in one sitting.
Partially because in the end, I skipped over all the laptop gubbins and after further digging headed to the Trojan and Studio 1 mixtapes they have up for streaming, and damn are they good! Kinda unfortunate that it overshadows the rest of their exploits, but hey, it shows they have good taste.
(You probably have to scroll the tapes down a bit to get to them, or alternatively, open up the flash player and click on ‘mixtapes’)
Anyhow, it’s deliciously retro designed, and comes complete with a set of magazine style articles that flit between reggae, retro computers and err… back again, if you haven’t been enticed already…