« Precursors to the reggae beat » by Mojo

Most reggae histories casually note that the triumvirate of Rastafari drumming (the bass, funde and repeater drums) is related to Burru, a ceremonial form that survived the middle passage from West Africa, but beyond that, little detail is typically relayed. This 2-CD set seeks to make plain how the spirit possession of the Afro-Jamaican Christian cults such as Pocommania, Revival Zion, and the Congo-derived Kumina, have all influenced the rhythms of reggae. Dispite the rough sound qualify of these ancient archive recordings, this is musically thrilling stuff, and though only a few tracks sound like obvious precursors to the reggae beat itself, there is no denying the relation between the sounds captured here and what later emerged. There are also some early Rasta services, recorded in the 1950s, as well as thematic, drum-backed folk songs from Miss Lou and Edric Connor, plus a few early mento recordings. David KATZ - MOJO