Raving Kings: Alric and Boyd + The Untold Story of Dance Music in Jamaica

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April 3, 2013

Alric and Boyd Party Photo
Germany-based, Jamaican-born DJ Rix Rax at Club Asylum, with owner Ribby Chung (in white shirt)

We had DJ friends abroad who, when they would come to visit, we would set them up in a club tell them [don’t] I don’t want no trying to please the crowd ting. If you’re German, play like how you would for a German crowd. At the time, we were playing in the biggest and the most beautiful club in Kingston, called Mirage. It was almost like a Ministry of Sound, or a Space. It was big. When our friends came down from wherever, we would put them in that club. What sealed the deal was when our friend from Germany,ย  Rix Rax, came to play in Mirage. It was the first and only time I have seen a DJ get a standing ovation in a club. They stopped and they just clapped.

ALRIC: You have heard how notoriously hard a Jamaican crowd can be. When heโ€™s able to win over a Jamaican crowd with European dance music, you must realize waahgwan deh suh.

Deep Fried

BOYD: The first rave party we did was called Hill House, at a mansion that could house about 500 people in the living room. We played on a balcony looking down. It went until 10a.m. the next day, and we only played dance musicโ€”jungle, techno, drum and bass, in 1996. It was amazing to see the reaction of the people. We said, โ€œOK, there is a market for this.โ€ Then we went to [Kingston club] Mingles, and did our Friday night after-hours party there. It was free, so everybody came. That lasted for about three years. There was a spinoff at a new venue called Harryโ€™s Bar, and that was when glowsticks were introduced to the Jamaican audience, in 1998.

That party had maybe over 1,000 people. It got the word of Ribby Chung, who owns [legendary Kingston club] Asylum, and he said I have Monday nights free, what would it take to do what you did at Harryโ€™s Bar, in Club Asylum? We never thought it would have been commercial but we found out that it could be done. And we called it Alric and Boyd Monday Night Rave. Every Monday, you’d get the best of what the scene has to offer. You’d be up to date on what was happening in Ibiza. People from Jamaica actually go to Ibiza and, when they come back, theyโ€™d say these are the songs Iโ€™d hear playing over there. You donโ€™t have to leave, you can come here and get the same thing. That lasted between 1998 to 2003.

ALRIC: In 2004, we did it in the [successor club to Asylum] Quad.

ย Asylum

Click here for Part 4 of Alric and Boyd’s oral history of dance/EDM/rave culture in Jamaica