I read an interesting article in a local newspaper recently about a Japanese record shop and production company owner from Osaka, Japan who has been traveling to Jamaica for the past 18 years to find and buy vintage Jamaican music. It’s interesting because there are so many things we here in Jamaica fail to appreciate and promote properly. Instead we now have a mostly crappy local local music scene and a very bad image throughout the world.
When his friend called Carpenter came to Jamaica and brought back some vintage music he recalls: “Me shocked, so I save some money and come to Jamaica to buy some good, original tune.” Hayashi, who had been a bass player in a reggae band, said he was tired of playing because the artistes always wanted the same rhythm, “like a Sleng Teng”. So, in searching for something with a difference, he said: “I came to Jamaica and started listening to some vintage records.”
Hayashi has invited the likes of Alton Ellis, Prince Buster, Echo Vibration and Strange Jah Cole to perform at shows in Japan, but says: “me request different tunes for them to do, because in Jamaica they only perform hit tunes. So, like in Jamaica, they don’t know tunes like Dance Cleopatra and Prince of Peace by Prince Busta.” Hayashi, in his own right, has been like an ambassador for reggae music around the world, especially when it comes to ska and rocksteady. He now has a radio programme called ‘Pirate Choice’ on the Internet.
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