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Mostly masterpieces on new David Rodigan compilation

Masterpiece-David-Rodigan-Moscd336At the age of twelve a young David Rodigan was struck by one of the most well-known guitar riffs in rock history – The Kinks’ You Really Got Me. About a year later he was struck again. But this time it was a new beat – ska and Millie Small’s My Boy Lollipop. This was something new and exciting and a beat that has stayed by his side for his entire musical career.

On the new compilation Masterpiece – a series from UK label Ministry of Sound – David Rodigan tells his own musical story via 54 tracks spread over three discs. It showcases his formative years in the 60s and what he thinks could be the future of reggae. In between the compilation is crowded with reggae classics.

But this is not just a reggae compilation, even though the majority of the cuts comes from Caribbean sources. The compilation starts off with the sounds of 60s British pop and American soul, and then passing through four decades of the evolution of Jamaican music in many of its guises – ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall and the new roots revival.

And when listening to the album it’s clear that David Rodigan’s music taste is mostly about beautiful melodies and well-crafted songs. No hard or provocative dancehall is included. No Bounty Killer, no Beenie Man and no Vybz Kartel. Just sweet sounds and positive messages from Alton Ellis, Etana, Cornell Campbell, Dennis Brown and Marcia Griffiths. Somewhat surprising.

But there’s more. No Gregory Isaacs, no Slim Smith and no Garnett Silk. Mr Rodigan is however excused since the selection is more or less flawless with personal favorites like Johnny Osbourne & The Sensations’ See and Blind, Ini Kamoze’s England Be Nice, Desmond Dekker’s Beautiful and Dangerous and The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra & Bitty McLean’s Fu Man Chu.

I have also spotted a number of new nuggets – Liam Bailey’s When Will They Learn, Paul S.C.U.B.I Smith’s Word Smith and Raging Fyah’s Nah Look Back.

Masterpiece is a document of David Rodigan’s journey as an individual and a club and radio DJ. For more than 30 years many have listened and learnt from him. This compilation is a great way to do just that.


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Get to know the music that shaped David Rodigan

Masterpiece-David-RodiganUK DJ and radio personality David Rodigan has been on the scene for more than 30 years and counting. With an MBE and a host of prestigious accolades under his belt, he has been chosen to front the next album in the acclaimed Masterpiece series from Ministry of Sound, out for release 27th January, 2014.

As one of few DJs to have influenced and inspired the masses for over three generations, David Rodigan has managed to continously adapt to reigning trends while sticking to his favorite music – reggae.

Masterpiece – Created by David Rodigan is a document of his journey as a DJ, starting with his initiation into the sounds of 60s British pop and American soul, and passing through five decades of the evolution of Jamaican music in all its guises: ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall and the new roots revival.

“I have made other compilations,” says David Rodigan in a press release. “But I decided this should be a reflection of my life musically, including both the things I grew up listening to and the things I am currently enjoying.”

The selection has been broken down into three discs featuring a range of influences from The Kinks, Marvin Gaye, Etta James, Dusty Springfield, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Tessanne Chin, King Tubby and Ini Kamoze to name a few.

David Rodigan also gives a whistle-stop tour of the world, showing how the vibrant current roots reggae scene spans artists in Canada/Jamaica (Exco Levi), Italy (Riva Starr) and England (Liam Bailey).

“I wanted this third CD to be looking to the future,” he says. “We are progressing and not living in the past. There are people with new ideas and this music is not finished, there’s a lot more to come.”

A selection of tracks will be available as a 7” vinyl boxset, handpicked by David Rodigan.

The Masterpiece series is a concept fronted by artists and DJs of the highest calibre. It’s an opportunity for them to curate a three disc musical journey that depicts their own influences and inspirations which they can share with their fans. Predecessors in the series include Andrew Weatherall, Fabio & Grooverider and Gilles Peterson.

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