View Full Version : Name this 80/90s dancehall style... ?!

10-01-2017, 08:41 AM
good to see dissensus has been going strong over the break ;)

Random question - as there's a lot of descriptive names being used for this (everyone seems to have their own :D), there's a style of dancehall riddim from the late 80s to mid 90s (and still occasionally popping up till today...) that sounds like a bastard & high speed mix of steppers (4x4 kick/bass) and Nyabinghi's shuffle-y drums... usually in the 95-100bpm range, and somewhat military sounding - and as prolific as it was for a time, there's probably a name associated with it. I'm thinking of a tracks like:

Apache Scratche - Full Stop
Cutty Ranks - Hand Grenade
Gregory Peck - Poco Man Jam
Shabba Ranks - Trailer Load A Girls

which later formed the core of the dutch bubblin scene around Moortje et al...

Also, is there a good micro-scene / sub-genre listing or visualization online for the reggae world (that goes into more detail than just reggae/roots/ska/mento/dancehall...) in existence anywhere ?


10-01-2017, 02:39 PM
I'm not the expert on here, but I believe people refer to it as Tin Pan.

10-01-2017, 02:58 PM
I had a brief period a few years back where I thought I'd start a music blog (before the threefold realisation that I'm a terrible writer, I have a terrible taste in music and I have nothing interesting to say). Anyway these are notes from something I was working on in 2012/2013, which was supposed to be a more detailed breakdown of trends in Dancehall:

Early Toasting (Late 60ís-Early 70ís)

Initially just intermittent snatches of talking inspired by jive talking DJ's on US radios. Eventually toasting became long form verses that were constant throughout the track. The talking isnít particularly rhythmically dynamic, however early signs of dancehallís penchant for gimmick and novelty are present in the form of screams, huffs, whistles, etc.

First Rhythmic Toasting (Ealry to late 70ís)

In this period the toasting is much more rhythmically interesting.

2 and 4 Snare emphasis (1978-1979)

Snare drum emphasis shifts from traditional reggae rhtyhms such as one drop, to the 2 and 4.

Early Dancehall (Early to mid 80ís)

Very much similar to the music of the previous decade however the 80ís production values give the music, particularly the drums, more of a punch. This punch combined with the 2 and 4 makes dancehall of this era, stylistically reminiscent of boom bap hip hop.

Digi-Dancehall (Mid to late 80ís)

Making the dancehall as before, however with synths and drum machines.

Tin Pan (Late 80ís- Early 90ís)

Four the floor kick drum with tresillo snares, often replicating military marching drums.

Mid 90ís

Gets rid of 4 to the floor so that the drums are tresillo. Predated by things like punanny riddim.

Genre Pastiche (Late 90ís)

An album phenomina, rather then singles

The following albums include opera, country, jazz, etc. pastiches :

Lady Saw- Passion

Buccaneer- Da Opra

Beenie Man- Maestro

Synthetic (Late 90ís-Early 2000ís)

Drums become zaps, crunches, etc. Less samples more synthns. More austere and clipped.

World (Early to mid 00ís)

Possibly as a belated reaction to Timbaland and US Ďurbaní musicís experimentation with world music. The music includes world music elements, particularly percussion, which has precedents in things like ĎTill Iím Laid to Restí and Beenie Manís ĎAfricansí.

Military Orchestral (2006/2007)

Uses military sounding orchestral instruments. One reviewer referred to Mavado's Gangsta for Life album as similar to a Michael Bay score.

Autotune/808ís (Late 00ís- throughout 10ís)

Use of 808 drums, auto-tune vocals and trance-like synths.

10-01-2017, 03:10 PM
Ive never heard the phrase 'tin pan' used in this way before.

There's no particular name for that style, you could maybe call it 'ragga'. The rhythm is usually called 'dembow', or sometimes 'pounda' via reggaeton.