Today, the platform will waive its share of sales and donate it to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, an American legal firm fighting for racial justice. This year marks a change for Juneteenth, too, as Joe Biden signed a bill on Thursday (17 June), officially making it a federal state holiday.
In support of the fundraiser, we asked London-based artist and radio host Tash LC to select 10 essential reggae and dub releases, by Black artists, that are available to buy on Bandcamp now. Scroll down for her top picks, which includes releases from some of the most important women in reggae and Jamaican music. Be sure to add these to your basket today.
Love Di People EPSikka Rymes
I’ve been obsessed with the Duppy Gun crew for a while now and they never miss, in my opinion. I love their warped experimental approach to dancehall, coming from a similar camp to the Equinoxx crew who are also favourites of mine. They’re often not the most danceable tracks due to the scattered franticness of the production, but I love that as you’re kind of forced into listening to dancehall in a whole new way.
Sound System International Dub LPKing Tubby & The Clancy Eccles All Stars
You can’t go wrong with a bit of King Tubby. I’ve found quite a lot of Tubby bits on Bandcamp over the past year and his back catalogue is ridiculously extensive, a proper master of his craft. This whole album is weighty and light at the same time, and also features a dub of one of my favourite reggae tunes – Kingston Town – which I highly recommend checking out!
Jackie Mittoo NowJackie Mittoo
Some wicked keys-led tunes on here from the Keyboard king at Studio One. Jackie Mittoo was one of the great names in Jamaican music and was musical director for a bunch of super influential bands across Studio One. Another musician with a hugely impressive discography, this is full of great funky instrumentals.
The Wailing WailersThe Wailers
OG Wailers! Bob in his baby days alongside Peter Tosh and Neville Livingston, proper gems in here. The Ska One Love version makes me so happy. I always find loads of great Studio One classics on Bandcamp and I used to work at the brilliant Sounds of the Universe record store where we distributed all the Studio One reissues, so I’m a longtime super fan of the label.
Golden Teacher Meets Dennis Bovell at the Green DoorGolden Teacher
This is sick! I love this collaboration between Glasgow and Jamaica with Golden Teacher and Dennis Bovell, who’s an OG of UK reggae and dub. He’s one of those artists who truly transforms and breathes new energies into whatever he touches, and he’s a wicked MC too.
Kunta KinteThe Revolutionaries
Tune! This dub has become iconic again since featuring in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series last year. Every time I hear it I just wanna lose my shit and wile out with no inhibitions. The rattling percussion is proper trippy and the melody is almost Middle Eastern at times. It’s such a deep instrumental, and that bass hits every single time. Proper killa!
Dance With Me / Gladdy At CarnivalCarroll Thompson / Gladdy Wax
This is gorgeous. Carroll Thompson was one of the most important women in UK reggae and was known as Queen of Lovers Rock. She had some huge records in the 90s and was alongside pioneers such as Janet Kay, Dennis Bovell, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Louisa Mark and more, shaping the identity of sound system culture in the UK. Love!
Studio One Presents Jennifer LaraJennifer Lara
Another iconic woman in reggae who “showed Jamaica its soul again”. This is her stunning debut from 1974 on Studio One and her vocals compliment the slowed down ska beats so well. I love hearing women in reggae as there’s such a distinctive difference in emotion and harmonies to men a lot of the time. Favourite track: Close to You.
Earth's Rightful RulerAugustus Pablo
There’s something so magical about Augustus’ productions. Always so deeply spiritual and led by the unmistakable sound of his famous melodica, his productions send me into a bit of a trance. This is actually the first time I’ve heard him singing on a record too, which was a nice surprise as often the role of producer and vocalist were quite separate. Another stalwart figure in Jamaican music who forged a whole new sound and stayed consistently ingenuitive while holding down a distinctive signature style. Favourite track: Earth’s Rightful Ruler.