Skanish Sound: Jamaican Influenced Music From Spain


...1964-1972. Trying to pinpoint the influence of Jamaican music on Spanish pop in the '60s and '70s, taking into account the sociopolitical situation in Spain, is like a script from Spanish director Luis García Berlanga. Despite Spanish public fervor for the suggestive, hot melodies coming from the Antilles, the Francoist censors tried to avoid any general lack of inhibition, minimizing the impact of the music's most enticing elements on Spanish soil. In the margins, apart from sterile regime-promoted national flamenco and sleep-inducing ballads, one could find few black elements in Spanish pop. At that time they were found in their Latin form: rumba and salsa and even sometimes something like Afrobeat. So it was necessarily the case that only the less suspicious artists had an opportunity to copy what they could get their hands on from that treasure island. The first vibrations that arrived to Spain from Jamaica, via England, came in the form of records. Given the difficulties, none of the artists collected here would have had access to the original recordings nor to Jamaican radio. Clearly then, their method of absorption and assimilation was that of musicians the world over: they heard it, they liked it, they copied it. And if any Spanish musician active in the 1960s claims to have set foot in Jamaica, it was all but impossible. At most, some Spanish pioneers were lucky enough to cross the Pond in the 1960s as cruise ship musicians. In any case, it's uncertain whether any of the players on this compilation came into contact with Jamaica by natural route. Equally uncertain is the occurrence of concerts by Jamaican artists in 1960s Spain. Therefore, what we have here is a captivating collection of tracks (mainly covers but also a few originals) which mix the enthusiasm and fascination of musicians who were captivated by the sounds coming from Jamaica. At times, the results they achieved fit within the expected sounds of the genre, but sometimes their efforts produced a mixture, whether intentionally or due to better intentions than skill, which gave Jamaican music a uniquely Spanish character. Most tracks reissued for the first time. Includes informative liner notes by compiler Txarly Brown along with record sleeves and artist photos.