Musically speaking, Jamaica and the British Isles have an intertwined musical history that trumps most. English DJ crew the Heatwave bask in this symbiotic relationship, specializing in Jamaican dancehall and its UK offspring like grime, jungle, funky and dubstep. “You can’t grow up in the UK and not be exposed to Jamaican music, even if you only listen to top 40 radio,” explains Gabriel Heatwave. “Stuff like Millie Small’s ’My Boy Lollipop’ or Desmond Dekker’s ’Israelites,’ right up to Sean Paul and Shaggy,” he explains. “English pop artists like Lily Allen, Boy George and Amy Winehouse have all done reggae tunes, it’s just part of our music culture.” Digging below the often simplifying veneer of pop radio, trying to discern which country brought what to the table becomes even harder in the underbelly of dance music. “In the more underground rave scenes it’s even more deeply embedded: Jamaican soundsystem culture has been an enormous influence on dance music from hardcore and jungle in the ’90s through to grime and dubstep today,” Gabriel says.
In their most recent Rinse.fm mix, mixed by Gabriel Heatwave and hosted by Benjamin D, the British crew tethers the newest dancehall anthems into a bonafide two hour bashment party. For those unfamiliar with the term “bashment,” it’s a catchall phrase for patois-driven, party-friendly tracks. “Anything that’s made for partying can fall under that term, though more specifically it’s used in the UK to refer to Jamaican dancehall, especially the more rowdy and X-rated contemporary styles, “ Gabriel clarifies. “’Dancehall’ and ’bashment’ are not really genre terms, they’re not limited to a particular tempo and if you’ve got someone spitting in patois over any beat it becomes bashment.” Get a strong kick of bashment in the most recent Heatwave mix below, with new dancehall tracks from Mavado, Vybz Kartel, and Lady Saw, plus Nas’ reggae-sampling “The Don” and a contentious spin of Skrillex and Damian Marley’s “Make It Bun Dem.”