Welcome to Jamroc: Meet Jamaica’s EDM All-Star Squad

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Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by Martei Korley—
Alric and Boyd

Alric and Boyd are the godfathers of Jamaica’s rave/EDM scene. Through their long running show on radio station FAME FM and residencies at top Kingston nightclubs like Asylum, the pair have brought the latest in dance music (not to mention hip-hop and other genres) to the island’s shores for two decades. Branching out into production in recent years, they’ve crafted dancehall juggling riddims like 2005’s El Toro riddim and even given Jill Scott a bit of reggae flavor.

Now, after 21 years of working together as a duo, the pair (who also maintain membership in NYC’s Federation Sound, with Max Glazer and Kenny Meez) have joined forces with fellow Jamaican dance DJ/producer Ben-J.A.H. to form a new, JA-based EDM production unit called Jamroc. The trio recently teamed with Chicago house pioneer DJ Pierre, joining the roster of his new label, AATrax.

Alric and Boyd
Boyd at work

“You have to parlay with someone heavy in the industry for you to be taken seriously, because you are coming from Jamaica,” Boyd says of the partnership with Pierre, whose work as part of Phuture in the mid ’80s is acknowledged as the starting point of acid house. “[People think] Jamaica is [just] reggae and dancehall. I remember playing in this big warehouse rave in Atlanta. I was there working on my set and I hear this guy come over and say, ‘What is this dude gonna play, he’s from Jamaica?  Bob Marley remixes on house? come on.’  I played from 3 o’clock that morning to almost 10 o’clock the next morning, nobody wanted me to leave. They were like I didn’t know you could play this well, we took a chance on you. I was like, look, bredrin, give me some slack.”

Alric and Boyd

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