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Boomkat Product Review:
*2-disc set packed with early Jamaican Mento, much new to CD* "Mento profoundly influenced the development of reggae: its rhythms and lyrical content audible in many subsequent reggae classics The latest instalment in our exploration of the origins of reggae, which has previously included the R&B/early ska compilation Youths Boogie and two collections of the US Shuffle Blues which so influenced Jamaican musicians Release coincides with the 2013 Notting Hill Carnival; the perfect soundtrack to summer and barbecues. Though often erroneously regarded as simply a variation of Calypso, Jamaican Mento is a distinct musical style that developed independently from its similarly styled Trinidadian cousin. The genre remained Jamaica’s most popular form of indigenous music from the post war years up until the development of Shuffle Blues and its immediate successor, Ska, in the early sixties. Its roots can be traced to both African and European musical traditions, with its rhythmic structure and lyrical content (generally focusing on current news and carnal relations) having a profound influence upon the subsequent development of Reggae. The distinctive sound produced by early exponents of the style was a result of the combination of vocals, banjo, acoustic guitar, hand percussion and a rumba box, all frequently enhanced by homemade saxophone, clarinet or bamboo flute. Mento, Not Calypso! features some of the earliest recordings in the genre, dubbed directly from the original Jamaican 78s, with many featuring on CD for the first time. Compiled by Mento aficionado, Mike Murphy, the 2CD set is unquestionably the most definitive collection of the style yet to see issue and as such will appeal to those seeking to discover the origins of modern Jamaican music as well as the less discerning buyer simply wishing to enhance their summer barbecue! Mento, Not Calypso! is the latest instalment in Fantastic Voyage’s exploration of the origins of reggae, and follows on from the release of two highly successful compilations of the US Shuffle Blues, which was so influential on Jamaican musicians, and Youths Boogie, which compiles Jamaican R&B and early Ska."