Sly, Flabba get honourFriday, February 07, 2020
BY RORY DALEY
ARGENTINIAN music producer Hernan Sforzini was honoured alongside Jamaican musicians Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, and Flabba Holt at the home of Argentina’s ambassador to Jamaica, Luis Fernando del Solar Dorrego. The function took place on Tuesday.
The veteran musicians were acknowledged for their contribution to the Grammynominated album The Final Battle: Sly And Robbie vs Roots Radics.
“The important thing about this album is that it has been a joint Jamaican-Argentinean initiative that was recorded partially in Buenos Aires and Kingston. We hope that this album will be followed by many more in the future,” said the ambassador.
The certificates of appreciation read: “In recognition for your tireless efforts building cultural bridges and friendship through music between the people of Argentina and Jamaica.
The Embassy of the Argentine Republic in Jamaica hereby proclaims the utmost gratitude and appreciation…” The Final Battle: Sly And Robbie vs Roots Radics was nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Reggae Album category, but on January 26 lost to Rapture by Koffee.
Sforzini said the album was a dream come true for him, so even being nominated was beyond his wildest expectations.
“It was great to receive the Grammy notice because I never imagined that it could happen. We’re an independent label from Argentina that was created for this album,” he explained.
Sforzini grew up a fan of reggae, and over the last five years has worked with a number of Jamaican roots-reggae acts in his country.
“Many people don’t know that reggae is big in Argentina. There are more than 500 reggae bands in the country and the reggae concerts are massive in attendance,” said Ambassador del Solar Dorrego, who grew up listening to Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Eddie Grant.
Sforzini said the album came together after he visited Jamaica three years ago.
“I felt like I was at home and I said to myself, ‘my next production will be with Jamaican musicians’. It was like a mosquito had bit me in Jamaica and I took home that reggae virus to Argentina.”
He said he approached Dunbar and Shakespeare with the idea for an album, and the famed drum-and-bass duo accepted. Six of the 12 songs were recorded in Argentina.
Sforzini’s good luck continued as Lee “Scratch” Perry was also scheduled to be in South America one month later. Following that came Ken Boothe then Horace Andy, who also made their first appearances in Argentina.
Eighteen months later, The Final Battle: Sly And Robbie vs Roots Radics was released.
Sforzini is already working on follow-up albums, which he previewed at the event. One of them is Sly And Robbie vs Roots Radics: The Dub Battle.
It will be released in July, featuring dub versions of the original songs mastered by Sforzini, Mad Professor, Scientist, Lee Perry, Bunny Lee, and King Jammys. A third version Sly And Robbie vs Roots Radics: The DJ Battle featuring Big Youth and U-Roy will follow.
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