10. Gang of Four – Ether
In the late 1970s and early ’80s, the heavy baselines and calls to chant down Babylon of Jamaican music found a dedicated audience across the pond in England, and not just with its large Jamaican ex-pat communities. White working-class kids disillusioned with a poor economy and a society rift with class and racial tension identified with reggae’s message and started incorporating some of its sonic elements into a new style of music: punk.
So it’s not surprising that the melodica would wind up throughout Gang of Four’s seminal debut Entertainment!, most prominently on the opening track “Ether.” Pablo’s instrument of choice adds a perfectly eerie element to the album’s paranoid vibe despite its sonic distance from Pablo’s sweet dub-heavy melodies.—Saxon Baird