Tag Archives: Massilia Sound System

Tasty introduction to the French reggae scene

The French reggae scene has been active since the 70’s when the first sound systems emerged, and domestically it has flourished with artists and groups such as Pierpoljak, Raggasonic, Tonton David and Daddy Mory, who was initially one third of Raggasonic.

Most French reggae artists sing in French, partly due to governmental regulations introduced in the mid 90’s. The regulations obliged radio and TV to play 70 percent French speaking music.

And this has stuck. On the compilation French Reggae Revolution only three of 15 songs are sung in English. I don’t understand much of the lyrics, but that doesn’t matter when the riddims and melodies are strong.

I’ve been following the French scene for some time and I only recognize two names – Mo’Kalamity and Dub Incorporation – on this set. Obviously the French scene has lots to offer.

The majority of the tunes are in a one drop mode with live instrumentation. Exceptions being The Rockin’ Preachers political No Nuclear Power and the excellent hip-hop tinged Au Marché Du Soleil from Massilia Sound System. Papa Style & Baldas 80’s sounding La Révolte also stands out from the formula.

And this set would actually have gained from being more diverse. A few dancehall acts would have been a nice touch. Maybe Admiral T and Tiwony would have been a great contribution.

French Reggae Revolution is not as revolutionary as the title indicates, but a tasty introduction the French one drop reggae scene.

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