Reggae Around The World cover

Jamaican music has a few obvious global strongholds beyond its own backyard, including the United Kingdom and Europe, parts of Africa, and of course – Aotearoa. The beauty of this compilation by Putamayo is that it introduces sounds from little known pockets of reggae around the world, and celebrates the truly international nature of reggae music.

The universal nature of the themes of peace, love and redemption are beautifully highlighted, and you can hear the echoes of Bob Marley’s ongoing influence in almost every track. At the same time, each artist brings their own cultural heritage, musical influences, language and lyrics to the familiar riddims of reggae music.

Within this global tour are the unique blend of samba and reggae from Brazil’s Zeca Baleiro, the digeridoo and broken English of the aboriginal artist Blekbala Mujik, and Mali’s muslim Askia Modibo praising Allah rather than Jah in the gorgeous track Wadjou.

Jamaica makes its presence known through the inclusion of Burning Spear’s classic Jordan River, and Ernest Ranglin’s jazz-inspired instrumental version of Stop that Train. A personal fave is the track by Nigerian superstar Majek Fashek, which features lovely lilting vocals and African hand drums.

Most of the tracks on the album draw heavily from Bob Marley’s ‘classic’ reggae style’. This means that fans of more modern, electronic styles might not find a lot to their taste. The appeal of this record is in its internationalism, which should please world music buffs and those keen to trace the migration of reggae across borders oceans and continents.

Ginjah Ninjah