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Drum & Bass, & Jungle: US-based sounds draw out subgenres

Published:Sunday | September 29, 2019 | 12:21 AMKimberley Small - Staff Reporter

For his entire musical career, Sgt Remo was dedicated to making reggae music and blasting dancehall hits from the ‘golden era’.

But, while operating King Remo Sound System, the only one of its kind in his area, the artiste quickly came to realise that perhaps contemporary sound system culture is made of much more than just reggae and dancehall music.

“I notice there are a lot of people who come around and they want to be part of what I do, but they wanna do what they do,” he told The Sunday Gleaner.

He said has been approached by many people who are involved with other genres of music and who have been influenced by reggae and the whole Jamaican culture, similar to drum and bass or jungle music.

“Now I kind of have to bring these people in, because they wanna be part of it,” he continued.

Jamaican elements

The sound system owner has also noticed that while the music is different, it still retains undeniable Jamaican elements. “They use a lot of real Jamaican artistes to voice their music. There’s like a whole different subgenre that has come out from this. And it’s really underground, it’s not really commercial. I didn’t know about it. And it’s interesting to me because I’ve always been just strictly dealing with reggae throughout my whole career,” he said.

King Remo Sound System may currently stand alone in San Antonio, but there are others across the state of Texas, and potentially more to come.

According to Sgt. Remo, Dallas and Houston also both have sound systems. “They’ve had a Jamaican and Caribbean population for many years. But that [culture] was kind of confined to the Jamaican community. There’s one in Austin that they just built, so there’s two in Austin now,” he told The Sunday Gleaner.

He continued: “It’s growing right now. I keep seeing sound systems popping up everywhere, all over.”

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