Academic journal article Notes

The Mystic World of Augustus Pablo: The Rockers Story

Academic journal article Notes

The Mystic World of Augustus Pablo: The Rockers Story

Article excerpt

Augustus Pablo. The Mystic World of Augustus Pablo: The Rockers Story. Shanachie 45068, 2008.

Augustus Pablo, who died in 1999 at only 46 years of age, was a significant figure in reggae music history for a number of reasons. In addition to single-handedly turning the melodica (a breath-powered handheld keyboard instrument usually thought of as a toy) into a serious sound source for reggae recordings, he was also a gifted producer who consistently elicited powerful performances from singers and instrumentalists both famous and obscure during reggae's heyday in the 1970s and early 1980s. He was also the architect of a distinctive reggae subgenre (dubbed, however, inaccurately, the "Far East sound") that made extensive use of minor keys and exotic-sounding modal melodies. Pablo was a universally beloved figure in the reggae world, one known for his humility and gentleness, and his untimely death from the neurological disease myasthenia gravis was greeted with shock and dismay throughout the community. Perhaps predictably, he has achieved a sort of informal sainthood since his death, and this five-disc boxed set is a particularly happy consequence of that canonization. …

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