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The 8-Bit Reggae Underground

Robert Berry writes:

There is an alternative universe in which the most important reggae tune of 1985 was not Prince Jammy and Wayne Smith’s ‘Under Me Sleng Teng’, but the music to a Nintendo game called Wrecking Crew.

The game saw a pixelly young Mario smashing his way through a series of obstacles with a hammer as big as his face. The skanking soundtrack, with its square-wave walking bass and off-beat 8-bit accents, was created by a 27-year-old Sly and Robbie fan named Hirokazu “Hip” Tanaka. In this other world, kids who grew up with SNES controllers permanently appended to their thumbs are today busily recreating classic riddims using Gameboys, toasting over chiptunes, and colouring in power-up mushrooms with the distinctive red, gold, and green of the Ethiopian flag.

Fortunately, the internet is a place where all parallel worlds exist at once, and this alternative reality is just a few clicks away, down a wormhole composed of Wikipedia pages, Facebook groups, and Soundcloud communities.

Full Story: Fact Mag: Digital mystics: the strange story of the 8-bit reggae underground

(via Chris)

Status update: head bobbing furiously.

See also:

Jahtari netlabel

Natty Droid netlabel

Laptop Reggae/Electric Dub group on Soundcloud

Pasta and Vinegar’s 8-bit reggae playlist

Dub Will Tear Us Apart – Jah Division

A dub cover of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. It’s a pretty groovy little track. There’s also a video of Jah Division performing “Heart and Soul,” but I haven’t watched it yet since I don’t have Real Player. Update: Here’s the video on YouTube:

(via Boing Boing)

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