Inside you can find the latest reggae album, single, and riddim charts based on votes by radio DJs and music directors from around the world.
COMMUNITY RADIO USA global reggae charts featured voter INTERVIEW This month we talked to Anderson Muth a.k.a. The Groove Thief, who presents the shows Dub Palace and Reggae Transfusion on the community radio station KGNU out of Boulder (CO), USA, and is also the editor of this magazine. Photo: Evan Semone Global Reggae Charts: Hi Anderson. Please give us some information about yourself and your radio show. Anderson Muth: Certainly! Primarily as The Groove Thief, I’ve been promoting, selecting, and writing about reggae and its numerous related sounds since 2011. Until 2016 I was based out of Hong Kong, China, and now I’m here in Denver, Colorado. To keep a long story short, it was quite hard leaving a music scene I’d enjoyed so much time in, so my friends Tree-Angles and I began our Pomegranate Sounds record label last year as a way to keep the vibes alive from our somewhat infamous and eclectic club night Pomegranate. I also run a small mobile sound system, called Pomegranate Hi Fi, which is a lot of challenging fun, and work in studio with my production partner Scotty McD. I host the Dub Palace and Reggae Transfusion shows on KGNU Community Radio each month. The station is based out of Boulder, but has a Denver studio as well. Dub Palace is all about dubwise sounds, including dubstep and future dub; Reggae Transfusion is exactly that, so I try and feature a mixture of digital and roots music. Dub Palace is also live-broadcasted from a bar once a month, so playing those sessions is particularly enjoyable. I always play a lot of new music and usually feature local Colorado artists as well as other eclectic international releases beyond the more expected selections. GRC: Apart from the radio show, you are also writing about reggae. What is your motivation? Anderson with his dog Joey AM: I’ve always loved music and writing, and have been an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher for many years now. I used to fancy myself a travel writer, and have written for a city government as well as larger brands like Time Out Hong Kong magazine. But writing about a music I love is the most enjoyable. There’s so much to listen to, and so much content in general out now, yet too much so-called music journalism is just regurgitated press releases; I take pride in digging deeper with an artist for an interview, or into their work for an in-depth review. GRC: You are also an editor for this magazine. Why do you think the Global Reggae Charts is a project to support? AM: Since moving to Colorado, I’ve gotten heavily involved in radio again; many years ago I was a DJ and staff member for my college radio station. It’s somewhat odd to me that reggae as a genre lacks coverage while still getting a solid amount of radio play and promotional support. KGNU has three weekly reggae shows, all reliably in the station’s Top 10! global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018 14
global reggae charts featured voter Yet, there wasn’t a useful resource for reggae selectors to share their tastes, learn more about what’s being played around the world, and have a deserved influence in what music is deemed chart-worthy. Global Reggae Charts fills that void nicely, and it’s a pleasure working with the team each month to polish up the issue for publication. GRC: You are living in Colorado/USA but lived in Hong Kong for a while. What is your impression about the reggae scene in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia compared to the one in the United States? AM: Hong Kong enabled and encouraged me to become an active DJ, and it has a surprisingly relevant scene due to the continued efforts of a few dedicated and passionate souls. There are a few too many people to mention, but I do want to shout-out bands the Red Stripes and Sensi Lion (surely the world’s leading Cantonese reggae act), as well as the recently-closed venue XXX. Heavy Hongkong, the city’s leading sound system, is simply relentless in their efforts to bring top Asian and UK talent to Hong Kong, promoting dub, dubstep, jungle, reggae, and other dubwise and bass-related sounds. Hong Kong is also a key access point for China, and the Heavy crew plays a key role in that, as does Shenzhen’s Unchained right across the border plus promoters in Beijing and Shanghai. There’s some semblance of a network of Asian promoters, and a lot of respect and appreciation for each other’s efforts, which helps to bring artists in and interconnect tour stops from places outside China like India (Reggae Rajahs), Singapore (Singapura Dub Club), and of course Japan. While hardly popular, reggae in Asia feels fresh and is very community and DJ-focused. The crowd listens to lyrics, doesn’t want to hear Bob Marley, and appreciates the selector’s role as a tastemaker. Here in the USA, it’s all about bands. I feel like the average audience member lacks appreciation for the 15 selector, is disinterested in appearances by singers, and is hardly dubwise in their knowledge of reggae music, never mind the crucial role of sound system culture. That said, Denver is a major hub for dubstep, and there are a lot of talented bands, DJs, and vocalists here… there’s just a lot of work to be done. short FACTS Station: KGNU Community Radio Location: Denver, Colorado, USA Show: Dub Palace & Reggae Transfusion Host: The Groove Thief On air: 3rd Wednesday & 4th Sunday, 10pm-12am MST http://thegroovethief.com https://www.mixcloud.com/thegroovethief https://pomegranatesounds.bandcamp.com GRC: And a final question: What kind of music do you play in your show? Which styles and artists do you favor the most? AM: As you can imagine, I enjoy a lot of styles and eras. Beyond the current sound system styles of digital, roots, and that 140 weight, I do particularly enjoy early dancehall (aka 80s digital) and vintage 70s dub and roots. Contemporary Jamaican artists Chronixx, Hempress Sativa, Micah Shemaiah, and Protoje never fail to impress. Just as an example, my latest radio show included fresh music from Richie Phoe, Holy Hammond, mehdiman, Daddy Freddy, Speng Bond, Jah Screechy, King Kong, The Giants, Forelock, Solomonix, The Viceroys, and Eek-A-Mouse, as well as Colorado artists Scotty McD, Ras Dave, and BeDeBe. I lean towards the unknown and underappreciated but never want to ignore a crucial tune from a big artist. global reggae charts | issue 13 / june 2018