Reggae Anthology: Winston Riley - Quintessential Techniques
Singer, songwriter, producer, and label owner Winston Riley can boast of a five-decade career that spawned hits that have changed the face of Jamaican popular music several times over. Inspired by American soul groups like The Impressions and The Coasters, Riley founded the sweet harmony group The Techniques while still a teen. The group cut a number of remarkable rocksteady singles, and Riley started his own Techniques imprint with the proceeds from their early successes. Quintessential Techniques collects the output of Riley’s seminal label from its founding in 1968 on through the ‘70s and ‘80s. It includes an astounding diversity of styles, from the relaxed rocksteady of Johnny Osbourne & The Sensations’ “Born to Love You” to the relentless digital textures of Admiral Tibet’s late-‘80s hit “Terrorist.” The collection particularly catches fire as it enters the early dancehall era, which Riley helped define with a series of epochal versions of the deathless Stalag rhythm, including Sister Nancy’s defiant “Bam Bam,” Tenor Saw’s soundclash staple “Ring the Alarm," and Super Beagle’s echo-laden adaptation of Willie Williams’ “Dust a Sound Boy."