In the vinyl analysis, ‘Record Store Day’ features reggae and dub on platters

Spin out: Deejays and VP Records staff at last year’s event. This year a few of the same deejay’s from the previous year return for another celebration of their dubplates, at the VP Records store on April 22.
Ajamu Myrie

These deejays will have the vinyl say.

For one day only this weekend, a Queens-based record label will revisit the days when the sounds of reggae and “dub” music could be heard in their purest form — on vinyl records and dub plates.

VP Records is hosting their third annual “Record Store Day,” at their Jamaica avenue location April 22 in an event in which deejays will play choice selections from their individual catalogs in their original recorded form, to honor the music that was born and bred and is alive and well in Jamaica, says one of the event’s organizers.

“It’s a celebration of vinyl where we have record collectors come and play their record collections. And who’s better to play vinyl than the sound system guys who promote vinyl?” said VP Records promoter Dane Bogle, who organized the event along with Richard Lue, the label’s director of new media.

The jockeys will introduce their sound systems and are expected to play exclusive versions of certain popular tracks, and even some rare or never-before-heard reggae tunes and less widely known, more intense “dub” music. Unique songs from such popular Jamaican artists as Dennis Brown and Supercat may be played, Bogle said.

“They’re going to be playing the best of the best of their collections of music that they’ve been collecting over the decades. They’ll get to showcase some songs that artists never had a chance to record,” the promoter said.

This years lineup of deejays include Massive B, Road International, King Addies, and Tippa Tone. Each deejay will have about 45 minutes spin the best of their collections. Bogle predicted said that while the event is intended to be a fun-filled appreciation of the music, it’s possible it could turn into a much-more-serious battler.

“It’s not a competition but when group of sound systems are playing music, they tend to play the best they have and can play better than anyone else,” said Bogle. “It’s a mental competition and it’s also someone on the microphone saying ‘You don’t have this,’ That’s the competition, but I’m not going to stop it — a lot of great moments happen like that.”

Bogle said what makes the event particularly special is that the use of laptops to play the music will not be allowed, because the organizers want the participants to showcase their skills spinning time-honored vinyl discs.

“Anyone can get a laptop and say they’re a deejay but that doesn’t prove your skills and certifications as one,” he said. “That’s the whole thing about the sound system — it’s getting to know the music, getting the authentic vibes, and the real hard core music.”

Bogle says the event has grown since it started, and he expects an even bigger crowd this year. Yet another lure, he added, will be that the some participating deejays will release new music — on vinyl.

“It’s going to be a nice day to come and listen to classic and good quality reggae day,” he said. “It is not only a celebration of vinyl, but we’re also having two vinyl releases.”

“Record Store Day” at VP Records Store [170-21 Jamaica Ave. between 170th and 171th streets in Jamaica, (718) 297-5802, www.vpreggae.com]. April 22, 11 am–5 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.

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