Chronixx & Junior Gong. The return of real reggae?
A common complaint among observers of all of Jamaican music, not only reggae, is that the people behind the current machinery either are completely unaware of the history of the island’s influence on global culture or are willfully ignoring said influence in efforts to try and bridge what is now seen as the wave. Well, summer 2017 should go some way in changing that stale narrative with the highly anticipated full studio album releases of Chronixx ‘Chronology’ and Junior Gong ‘Stony Hill’.
The former released his offering last Friday while the latter’s album is set to drop 2 weeks after that. This represents a change somewhat to the recent model for reggae/dancehall practitioners. This model would have artistes releasing one single at a time, often at the behest of producers, working it into (hopefully) the public’s consciousness from which monetary gains come in the form of paid performances and endorsements. The clear drawback being as the artist, you are not allowed to compile your thoughts on a LP as it has been deemed unprofitable to do so. But some artists though have acquired the gravitas to not only put together a full length album but also to secure worldwide distribution through notable & secure channels.
‘Chronology’, through Soul Circle Records (Chronixx’s very own imprint) and via Virgin/Universal and ‘Stony Hill’ distributed through Ghetto Youths International (a label founded by Damian and three of his brothers: Ziggy, Julian and Stephen) and Republic Records/Universal signal that major labels are willing to put their significant weight behind good Jamaican production once again. Great timing too as according to IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) last year global recorded music revenues increased by 5.9% with 50% of that coming from digital income. The 5.9% is particular noteworthy as that is the highest rate of increase since the IFPI began tracking the global music market in 1997.
Simply put, people around the world have started to purchase music, legally, en masse again. So the music from Jamaica has to once again raise its levels to meet global demand however with the release of both ‘Stony Hill’ & ‘Chronology’, especially one after the other, it is proven that more than enough talent is on the island to meet whatever is required.
Chronixx’s debut album Chronology is available across all digital platforms.