Dancehall is a genre of Jamaican popular music that originated in the late 1970s, according to Wikipedia.
Initially dancehall was a more sparse version of reggae than the roots style, which had dominated much of the 1970s.
In the mid-1980s, digital instrumentation became more prevalent, changing the sound considerably, with digital dancehall (or “ragga”) becoming increasingly characterized by faster rhythms.
The word “bashment”, a term originating in the 1990s, was used to describe a particularly good dance; for example “to go to a bashment dance”. In the Dancehall vernacular, “bashment” is therefore an adjective instead of a noun.
Reggae fusion is a mixture of reggae or dancehall with elements of other genres, such as hip hop, R&B, jazz, rock and roll, Indian music, Latin music, drum and bass, punk rock or polka.
It is closely related to ragga music. The term is also used to describe artists who frequently switch between the dancehall and reggae genres and other genres, mainly rap and R&B.
It originated in Jamaica, North America and Europe, and first became popular in the late 1990s.
Dancehall culture actively creates a space for its “affectors” (creators of dancehall culture) and its “affectees” (consumers of dancehall culture) to take control of their own representation, contest conventional relationships of power, and exercise some level of cultural, social and even political autonomy.
In the first film (above) of a trilogy exploring music scenes around the world, this mini film investigate the continuing, somewhat unlikely success of dancehall and reggae in Japan.
The principle characters include Yokohama’s soundsystem kings Mighty Crown who in many ways paved the way for the scene as it is today.
Batty Bom Bom is one of the scene’s most well known dancers and is a former winner of the prestigious annual Dancehall Queen competition.
The Illmatic Gyalz don’t only teach newcomers to the scene how to do the dance moves, they also educate them on Jamaican culture and language.
For all, dancehall is a fundamental part of their life and the music, the style and the culture runs through them. Whilst outsiders may find their fascination bizarre, the scene is as energetic and vibrant as anywhere on the planet.