Nouvelle Ambiance with Hugo Mendez

Lovers Rock: Islands Edition

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120 minsFirst aired 20 Dec 2018
Artwork by Nick Taylor

The Sofrito helmsman explores the love affair between the UK and the West Indies, and finds reggae versions from Barbados to Jamaica.

While lovers rock as a genre originally grew out of the early days of reggae, with hits from Jamaican and American singers like Johnny Nash, Ken Boothe and John Holt, it really found its footing in London’s reggae scene in the ’70s, as pioneered by producers Dennis Bovell and Mad Professor. This trend fed back to Jamaica, and saw singers like Dennis Brown, Sugar Minott, Gregory Isaacs and Freddie McGregor enjoy plenty of success with classic lovers’ versions. For the next two hours, Hugo Mendez digs into old Barbados pressing plants and finds a raft of tracks in-between styles, lying somewhere between Dover and Bridgetown on the Geest shipping line.

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