Summer sessions: Trojan Sound Systems Caribbean selection - Halong Junk Cruises

Summer sessions: Trojan Sound Systems Caribbean selection

Trojan Sound System
London based Trojan Sound System are a British reggae institution

It’s actually pretty hard to express what we’ve tried to capture in this mix to represent what’s special about summer in the Caribbean. Our initial thoughts were to represent the idealistic stereotypes of Bounty adverts and Reggae Reggae Sauce and then we realised, we don’t play pop music and our culture tells stories. This mix tries to embrace the truth about summer in the Caribbean, its diversity and the depth of the cultures and experiences that have shaped this tropical paradise.

Summer sessions: Trojan Sound System’s exclusive, strictly vinyl, Caribbean selection by Guardian Travel on Mixcloud

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The Caribbean’s geography and nature is idyllic – cue Jackie Brown’s Living in Sweet Jamaica – with many islands also offering a complimentary menu of insects, fish and snakes that are either dangerous or downright deadly. The summer climate is hot and humid and Webby Jay’s In the Rain is a heart-wrenching love song embracing the wet weather. Hurricanes build storms and surf too; amazing for our very own Daddy Ad, who has spent so many trips throughout the Caribbean living in the jungle and surfing remote reefs.

There’s also a lot of suffering and poverty, mainly due to corruption and the drug trade. There’s a lot of wealth benefitting the few. But despite that edge of danger that many visitors feel outside of their hotels in some bad areas, there is a beauty and respect for life once you’re out of the big towns and you hit the dirt tracks of the countryside and jungle. People literally smile hugs of welcome at you. The Heptones’ Country Boy embraces this wonderful feeling of the Caribbean countryside and jungle communities, and that very special and positive vibration.

But, when we were making this mix, our minds and hearts also went back to the darker side of the dancehall and the truth of the Caribbean’s larger towns. Hence the track Living Dangerously. The record is warped, but we decided to leave it in the mix as there was something authentic about the imperfections. Something we love about the Caribbean is that people use what they have and are resourceful. Bad Man Posee (as it’s spelt on the original label) is another example of perfect imperfections and another song encapsulating the darker side of the Caribbean.

The final song on this record is a modern and driving Roots-based song called Time is the Answer. Trojan Sound System wrote and produced it and it talks about the current climate of fear that many people around the world in less fortunate countries live in, every day and night. But, despite this darker side of the world and the Caribbean, a lot of people there, and especially Rasta, believe that many of the world’s issues can be solved by uniting and sharing the wonderful things nature has blessed us with on this planet. We don’t need all of the excess many western countries indulge in to feel happy. The Caribbean has brought its own happiness and positivity to millions of people around the world and this sense of joy and optimism has spread right around the world through that message in the music. If you spend time in the real Caribbean, this is something you will soon understand and want to embrace, at least for the time that you’re there!

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Travel | The Guardian
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