Wednesday, September 02, 2009

R.I.P. Steely

Regular readers will be aware of my love for 80's/90's dancehall, and I'm sad to say that one of it's giants died today.

Not only were Steely and Clevie responsible for some amazing riddims on their own label, they also played on many seminal digital tunes including Jammys' cuts of Sleng Teng, Punanny, Heavenless and Agony... in fact, if you own a record from the mid 80's on that doesn't have Sly and Robbie on it, there's a good chance that Steely and Clevie were involved somehow. Legend has it that the duo were also the first to recognise the talent of Garnett Silk as a recording artist, producing tunes like 'All the woman I need' and 'Used To Be My Girl' which lit the fuse of the singer's explosive rise to fame in the early 90's. And then of course there were the original riddims from their own label: Giggy, When, Double Trouble, Koloko, 357 Magnum, Poco, Hardcore, Frog, etc... It's nigh on impossible to summarise the influence this duo had on the development of the genre during their 30 year career as musicians and producers, but one things for sure - dancehall would have followed a very different path without them.

R.I.P. Wycliffe Johnson.