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Books and Music

Song Crushes - August 2019

Greek Reggae

Reggae Philosopher art by Barbara

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Greek reggae. That's a thing, people. 

 

(I'll give you a moment to process.)

 

Is there any other musical style that's gently but relentlessly taken over more of of the planet than reggae? 

 

I have been fortunate enough to travel to destinations as varied as the Cook Islands, Belize, Thailand and Fiji, among other places. 

 

They all have reggae!

 

It's so beloved in Hawaii that they have their own home-grown version called Jawaiian. It will be playing on probably four or five of the radio stations there at any given time. 

I remember writing in my travel journal when hearing reggae on a tiny Indonesian island that 'if music is the universal language, then reggae is it's most widely-spoken dialect'. That seems even more true to me now than it did then, having heard it in so many places since that trip.

 

Whether from the classic Jamaican artists or from local musicians, you will find it virtually everywhere. So it should come as no surprise that Greece has reggae, too. 

 

It's hard to convey how thunderstruck I was when I heard my first Greek reggae tune years ago. 

 

WHAT IS THAT? I LOVE IT AND MUST HEAR MORE!

 

If you've never heard it before, you owe it to yourself to at least have a listen to some Greek reggae. Can you deny yourself the experience? 

 

First up...shall we go to Hawaii? This is from the glorious Alkistis Protopsalti, and it's a sweet little song about being tired of the daily grind and just wanting to just pack up and go to Hawaii (We've all been there, sis.).

 

1. Pame Havai (It's A Pity) - Alkistis Protopsalti

 

And now, let me invite you into the pulsating sphere of awesome that is...Locomondo! Probably the premier Greek reggae band (at least in my heart). 

 

This is a new treatment of a great old folk song from Samos, done inna reggae stylee. Genius

 

2. To Plataniotiko Nero - Locomondo

 

And because reggae is a huge portion of what Locomondo does - but not only what they do -  this third song starts off as reggae (on bouzouki, no less!), veers into a tsiftetelli, and finishes off as a cheery hasaposerviko (Is that right? Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that last one, please, before they revoke my Greek Card...)

 

3. Diploreggaes - Locomondo

 

And a BONUS bit of fantastic weirdness for you, even though it's not strictly reggae - here's a version of a Greek folk song that became a surf mega-hit, and is here now in a ska version! 

 

What a time to be alive!

 

4. Misirlou - Locomondo

 

So soak up that sweet reggae vibe and... φιλ δε λοβ!

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