CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
JAPANESE sound system Mighty Crown has teamed up with Hawaiian singer J Boog to record Surfer's Anthem, which revisits the classic reggae instrumental Double Barrel.
Sami T, chief selector with the Mighty Crown, spoke to the Sunday Observer about the song, which has enjoyed steady rotation at their dances as well as in Europe and Asia.
"It was recorded in January in Hawaii and mixed in Jamaica. Double Barrel is one of the 'riddims' that I always wanted to remake," said Sami T.
Done by Dave Barker and Ansel Collins, Double Barrel made the British national chart in 1972.
J Boog is part of a massive reggae movement in Hawaii and the Pacific Rim. In February, he performed alongside Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley and others in a Bob Marley tribute at the Grammy Awards.
The Mighty Crown is currently on its Driving Force Tour which started in March. They will play in 50 cities on three continents; today, they are scheduled to 'string up' for their Reggae SAI concert in Kawasaki.
In addition to Sami T (real name Samuel Tse), the Mighty Crown's selection team comprises Rohan Henry (Ninja), Koji Ishii (Koji) and Simon Tse (Masta Simon).
According to Sami T, being on the European circuit has taught he and his colleagues not to be predictable.
He warns that a "top 10" playlist is dangerous, especially for Jamaican 'sounds' playing outside of Jamaica.
"Them run go play the top ten songs them and can't dig out a forward without those songs," said Sami T in his best patois.
The J Boog collaboration marks a new phase for the Mighty Crown, that of music production. They have produced reggae and dancehall songs by leading Japanese artistes such as Fireball and Guan Chai for their Lifestyle label.
Founded in 1991 by friends from the city of Yokohama, Mighty Crown built their impressive resume by playing in clubs and selling self-produced mix tapes throughout Japan.
In 1994, they started 'clashing' with other Japanese sound systems and became the country's undisputed sound clash champion in 1998.
The following year, on their debut appearance in World Clash, they defeated 'sounds' from Jamaica and the United States to become the first Japanese sound system to lift the World Clash Trophy.