Words by Eddie STATS Houghton
Longtime connoisseurs of Caribbean culture know that there is a special, deep and lasting–if at times hard to explain–connection between Jamaica and Japan. Maybe they are cool for exactly the same reason that most of us form unlikely friendships; because they are always put next to each other in the J-A row of the “Island Nations” section in the United Nations’ seating chart. Or maybe you could base your whole doctoral thesis in cultural studies on how the Japanese mastery of impenetrable ritual is somehow the perfect keymaster to the gatekeeper of labrynthine, insular soundsystem culture.
Either way, this visually inventive splice of “Pon De Floor” mashed up with Japanese kitty-pop (above) and Bobby Konders yelling at Japanese singjay Dizzle to raise money for Earthquake relief on “Rise Again” (below) are only two of the more recent (and entertaining) progeny of the ultimate odd couple. Here’s to many more.