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BrukOut with Seani B

LEGACY: Rory Gilligan

Last week we spoke to legendary selector Rory from Stone Love about his humble beginnings in South London, as well as how he became part of the formidable Stone Love outfit.

In this second instalment we find out his thoughts on the 2017 reggae scene, and gives us an insight into his future projects.

AS WE continued our extensive chat, Rory told me of the thought process behind the “Black Dub” sound that he has been producing for the last few years at his studios in Jamaica.

“The production process was the thing that rejuvenated my passion and love for the music. I had to learn everything from scratch – from mixing and processing to mic-ing up drums for live sessions. It was exciting and challenging.”

But what was his motivation? “I wanted to make music that had a definite black sound – instantly recognisable as something that is black created – from you hear it I wanted you to know it was black completely. I wanted to see if I could make a small inroad, and maybe someone else could carry on the struggle.”

He draws comparisons on the current scene to that of the seventies, with the struggle for black musical identity and the props that the music, artists and creators deserve in the wider marketplace. “I check out many of the playlists and movements across different places – there seems to be the same trends over and over again, and my research makes me feel that there is a lot of black music, but the soul of the culture is not there. Black music makers, but the place it comes from doesn’t seem authentic”, he says with the passion of a man who is proud of his heritage and background.

“The songs being made and played are “White-anised” – people are making music for European audiences – they aren’t making music for the black culture and black people. My tracks get the odd play now and then, but maybe it’s too black for them?

“Artists in Jamaica now feel their main audience is in Europe – they looks towards Europe every year as the main place to be. Black culture has been lost. I can name loads of tracks from the past that the second you hear the song you know they are deeply entrenched in black culture – right now, that is hard to do. Dancehall music seems to be the only style that caters for the ghetto – roots music of today doesn’t bother with it.”

However, time and development waits for no man – does he see the technological advancements as a positive or negative for the business? “The lack of physical records and CD’s plus the fact that it is so much easier to make music on a laptop these days has made it harder all round. In Jamaica, the Noise Act (the legislation that inflicted a strict curfew on the time and loudness that sound systems can operate) killed the sound system movement. Now people just carry their laptop and call themselves “sound systems.”

He is, however, impressed by some of the mix DJ’s. “Yeah, some of them are very imaginative – I love to see that creativity at work. Some of the tricks and skills are impressive.” He has had (and continues to have) an incredible career – setting the levels for all of us DJ’s, and his humility, forthrightness and honesty is so refreshing to hear, and a breath of fresh air in the music biz.

So has all the success changed the way he approaches what he does in dances? “No, not really – the only change is that I have Champagne on my rider now! When I play I like to have some Champagne.”

And why not - He’s come a long way from being the young boy who sneaked out to listen to the sounds play in his neighbourhood.

Catch the BrukOut club night on Thursday January 26 at Notting Hill Arts Club in London as we celebrate the launch of this column and our brand new record label.

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