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Artist Profile
Jah Shaka
Legendary London based sound system controller and record producer who has ceaselessly championed Rastafarian roots reggae over the last four decades.
>>Featured Page
Place of birth:
Jamaica
"Officially what we have done is concentrate on the roots... from that time until this time..." Jah Shaka

The history of Jamaican music is inextricably linked with sound systems and, in the late fifties and early sixties, many of the original sound system entrepreneurs made the successful transition from dance hall to recording studio and became record producers. Very few have successfully trod that same route since those early days but Jah Shaka is one of the few whose career trajectory has followed the classical pioneering template first established by Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd(CS Dodd) and Arthur 'Duke' Reid(Duke Reid). Named in honour of the great eighteenth century Zulu King Shaka the London based sound system has been propagating strictly roots and culture music since the late sixties and, in the twenty first century realm of sound systems, there is no-one more internationally respected and revered than Jah Shaka. Most sound systems are built around a team of controllers, operators, selectors, deejays and 'box boys' but Shaka, the controller of "the heaviest roots/dub sound system in the world", has always worked alone.

The classical sound of seventies reggae, with its positive message of peace, love and understanding, was brushed aside by the dance hall explosion of the early eighties. Ignoring whatever the current conventions happened to be Jah Shaka continued to play the music that mattered and his adherence to "heavy, spiritual reggae, with which his name has become synonymous, remained unswerving." He was one of the few who remained true to the roots through the long period when 'reality' music was considered "neither fashionable nor profitable" and was perceived to be irredeemably out of step with the times. The early nineties saw the overground worldwide breakthrough of ragga music. Shaggy and Shabba Ranks Might well have ruled the airwaves but Shaka eschewed contemporary music and carried on playing, and then making, strictly roots, rock reggae.

"Jah Shaka has formulated his own brand of reggae... there are many definitions of reggae but Jah Shaka has developed a brand of his own." Jah Shaka

Now Shaka is as renowned for the music that he has been creating for over a quarter of a century as he is for the music that he plays on his sound. His productions, released exclusively on his Jah Shaka label, are strictly roots without any apology: countless twelve, ten & seven inch singles and albums including ten chapters of the 'Commandments Of Dub' series, eight chapters of the 'Dub Salute' series, dub collaborations with The Mad Professor, vocal albums with Jamaican legends such as Horace Andy, Johnny Clarke, Stranger Cole, Max Romeo, Tony Tuff and The Twinkle Brothers and his own vocal outings 'The Music Message', 'My Prayer' and 'Revelation Songs'. He has amassed a hugely impressive body of work that has defied the vagaries of fashion time and time again.



Through Shaka's work a whole new audience came to accept the music that he ceaselessly championed and they also found their inspiration in the music of the past. The Greensleeves release 'Jah Shaka Presents The Positive Message', Shaka's personal choice of some of the recordings that have proved inspirational to him over the years, illustrates exactly where he's coming from... and where he's going to. His sound system was "a cornerstone for the development of roots music" and Shaka and his disciples have continued to assert their positive influence. His followers began to build their own sound systems, make their own music and run their own dances, clubs and radio shows. This 'new dub' school has subsequently become one of the most influential and enduring genres within the music; it has long outgrown its influences to become respected in its own right.

Jah Shaka has never lost sight of the fact that the message is as important as the music and he takes great pride in seeing followers of his sound going on to take up responsible, influential positions in society. He has established The Shaka Foundation which assists various projects in the Accra district of Ghana by purchasing medical supplies, library books and building materials for clinics and schools. The Foundation has also purchased seven acres of land near Accra where the Rastafarian ideal of back/forward to Africa has become a living reality.

"The music has different stages but without a root... you can have branches but, without the root, there is no tree. Officially what we have done is concentrate on the roots... from that time until this time." Jah Shaka
 
Related artist(s):
Johnny Clarke
Disciples
Prince Alla
Max Romeo
Willie Williams
Twinkle Brothers
Winston Jarrett
Tony Tuff
Horace Andy
Label Profile
Ariwa
1979 ~
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Hit title(s)
CD Dub Me Crazy 1 (1982) - Ariwa UK
¥2080
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CD Comet In The Sky - Ariwa UK
¥2080
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CD Black Liberation Dub Part 1 - Ariwa UK
¥2080
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CD Dub Take The Voodoo Out Of Reggae (with Lee Perry) (ARICD 131) - Ariwa UK
¥1959
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CD Sign Of The Times + We've Had Enough (ARICD 028) - Ariwa UK
¥2149
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CD Mad Professor Captures Pato Banton - Ariwa UK
¥1769
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LP Dub Me Crazy 1 (1982) - Ariwa UK
¥2180
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LP Black Liberation Dub Part 1 - Ariwa UK
¥2280
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LP Mad Professor Captures Pato Banton - Ariwa UK
¥1880
No Stock
LP Sign Of The Times - Ariwa UK
¥2180
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LP Comet In The Sky - Ariwa UK
¥2180
No Stock
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Hit series
Dub Me Crazy
Black Liberation Dub
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Description of item
[All Items] → [12"] → [Lovers Rock] → [Lovers Rock UK 90s-00s] → [Venus]
No Stock
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vinyl 12" 12"
Venus / Mad Professor, Jah Shaka
Love Makes A Woman / Only One God
Ariwa UK
¥1580 (US$15.44)
Rating: 12345
Genre: Lovers Rock
Sub Genre: Lovers Rock UK 90s-00s
Produced by: Mad Professor
Approx. year: 1996
Date added: Dec 17, 2004
Date re-stocked: Jan 29, 2014
Country: England
Catalog number: ARI12 170
Music type: Female Vocal B: Dub
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SIDE A:
listen Love Makes A Woman
SIDE B:
listen Only One God
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