V/A – Watch How The People Dancing – Unity Sounds From The London Dancehall, 1986-1989

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This re-release from London-based Honest Jon’s Records revisits some of the strongest dancehall sounds from the late 1980s, combining the familiar feel of the rhythms with a basic homemade approach to synth instrumentation. There are themes drawn from conflict and urban suffering of the time, alongside more simple homage to the delights of dancehall itself. While the album can be appreciated at face value for its music alone, it also provides something of an ironic take on the more innocent sentiments of ‘London is the Place For Me’ (from the 1950s). Life (and reggae) in London had clearly moved on beyond recognition in those decades.

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