Instinctive groove creators Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare have shaped the Jamaican music scene since the mid 70s. Since then their irresistable riddims have set pop music on fire. Enjoy two radio shows featuring the dynamic duo at Red Bull Music Academy Radio.
One of pop music's most prolific and long-lasting production teams, the rhythm section of drummer Lowell “Sly” Dunbar and bass guitarist Robert Shakespeare started working together in the mid 1970s after having established themselves separately on the Jamaican music scene.
Before joining forces, Sly was drumming for the Skin Flesh and Bones band and Robbie was the bass player for the Aggrovators. They also used to play in clubs (Sly at Tit for Tat and Robbie at Evil People), and used to check each other out.
They found out that they had the same ideas about music in general (both are huge fans of Motown, Stax Records, the Philly Sound and Country & Western, as well as Jamaican legendary labels Studio One and Treasure Isle), and Reggae and Dub production in particular.
In the early '90s, they introduced a whole new sound in reggae music with the hits 'Bam Bam' and 'Murder She Wrote' by Chaka Demus & Pliers, linking Chaka's rough deejay vocals with Pliers' sweet, melodic, soul-influenced singing. Sly and Robbie made a trademark out of this unusual vocal pairing, and the formula has since been used with great success by the likes of Peter Tosh, Black Uhuru, Gregory Isaacs and others.
The list of artists they've collaborated with and lent their unique swagger to is huge - from Rolling Stones to Talking Heads, Sugar Minott to Grace Jones, Serge Gainsbourg to Tricky. Whether they're producing their own tracks or working together with groups like The Compass Point Allstars - when it comes to magic, Sly and Robbie are conjurers par excellence.
Enjoy their lively guest slot at the mixing desk of Red Bull Music Academy Radio:
Grace Jones - Pull Up To The Bumper - Island Records
Gwen Guthrie - Seventh Heaven - Fourth & Broadway
Dennis Brown - Revolution - Taxi
Black Uhuru - Right Stuff - Island Masters
The Tamlins - Baltimore - Taxi
Peter Tosh - Buk-in-hamm Palace - EMI
Sly & Robbie - Boops (Here To Go) - Fourth & Broadway
Chaka Demus & Pliers - Murder She Wrote - Taxi
Beenie Man - Dancehall Queen - Island Jamaica
Sly & Robbie - Billie Jean - Taxi
Also get the duos natty vibes live in 2008 at Placa del Rei, Barcelona.