Various - Body Beat: Soca-Dub And Electronic Calypso 1979-98 3xLP
Soundway releases first Caribbean compilation in over ten years, Body Beat: Soca-Dub And Electronic Calypso 1979-98. 17 obscure soca B-side versions, dubs, instrumentals, and edits as well as vocal tracks influenced by disco, boogie, house-music, soul, and the more conscious lyrics of roots reggae. Owing as much to New York, Toronto, and London as to the Caribbean cities of Port of Spain, Bridgetown, and Kingstown this compilation traces the genre from its explosion in the late 1970s right up to the period just before contemporary soca became established around the end of the 1990s. Compiled by Soundway label founder Miles Cleret and DJ/collector Jeremy Spellacey, Body Beat, as with many compilations on the label, explores the fringes of this often maligned (by outsiders) genre.
Boiled down to the bare bones of the matter though: soca is party music. Soca was originally a re-invention of Calypso music; a genre that in the 1970s was fast becoming usurped around the Caribbean by Jamaican reggae and American soul, funk and later disco. The originator of soca (or sokah as he called it), the calypsonian Lord Shorty, began experimenting and modernizing on the formulation of calypso in the early 1970s. His first album featured a strong emphasis on East African rhythms and a punchier recording style that emphasized the beat, and introduced arrangements that often owed as much to American funk and soul as to calypso. So here you go – seventeen slabs of soca crossover, rapso, electronic calypso, and Caribbean "soca-soul" for your enjoyment – and bound to fit well into modern, open-minded DJ sets alongside the resurgence of burger-highlife, digi-reggae, soukous, and zouk. Features Cito Jarvis, Roger Bain, *D* Ivan, Bill Campbell, Brother Resistance, Adonijah, Peter Britto, Juno D, Colin Jackman, Levi John, Spiking, Mohjah, Andre Tanker, Touch, D'Rebel Band, The Millers, and Chocolate Affaire.