Live music instrumental in 'Reggae Sax' rhythm

November 13, 2017
Recording artiste Eazi Money (left) stands with Marlon Folkes of Reggae Vibes Music inside Krematorium Studio in New York during recording session.


The 'Reggae Sax' rhythm that was composed by Notis and released under the Reggae Vibes Music label has incorporated live music as a key element in the production. Notes are played on the saxophone by a jazz musician from New Orleans called Slick Sax.

Marlon Folkes of Reggae Vibes Music label said, "Slick Sax was excited to be on the project because his father had a background in the genre, having known of his involvement in a reggae band in New Orleans."

The rhythm has been getting impressive radio rotation in Europe and Africa since its release in July. The concept of infusing live instruments within the computer-generated beats has been the trademark sound for the label.

"Jamaican producers have more recently left out certain instruments from their creations because of the process. It tends to be more difficult, expensive and time consuming to have production from natural instruments," Folkes told THE STAR in a recent interview.

Tracks by reggae recording artistes Sizzla Kalonji, Jah Cure, Lutan Fyah and Turbulence are just some of the songs that have been recorded on 'Reggae Sax' rhythm. German violinist Chache is also featured on the rhythm on an acoustic single, titled Verfuhrung, which in English translates to 'Seduction'. It is one of the few reggae rhythms to have a musician playing a classical instrument recorded as a solo track.

"Fabian Dobney, the studio engineer who worked out of Big Yard Studio, was instrumental in getting the violin solo, but each song recorded has a story from the recording process to the emotions that accompany the lyrics," Folkes said.

Folkes expressed that this production was more rewarding, "from seeking support from artistes to the end products of each recording."

He also shared that Devano, who recorded Stop What You're Doing, an appeal to criminals abusing women, even got teary-eyed during his recording session.

The topics heard throughout each track range from love, relationships to social commentary, many of which will be enjoyed by female audiences.

"A project with rich instruments played by live musicians tends to have more longevity and evoke a better response from recording artistes in the booth. I have also observed that seasoned reggae singers prefer live instruments," Folkes said.

"Reggae Vibes Music's objective is to present productions of the reggae genre made from live instruments, just as we have done the Reggae Sax rhythm, the next project will take on the same feel," he added.

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