King at the Controls

He doesn’t get the same recognition as Bob Marley, but Jamaican producer King Jammy is a huge figure in reggae’s history. In 1985, he pioneered the use of computer beats (instead of a live band) with Wayne Smith’s Casio-driven ”Under Mi Sleng Teng,” ushering in the contemporary sounds of ragga and dancehall. But roots-reggae traditionalists shouldn’t be scared off. Crammed with sweet melodies, thick bass lines, and intricate beats, the 20 Jammy-produced tracks on King at the Controls, recorded from 1985 to 1989, will turn technophobes on to the crisp sound of reggae’s digital era.

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