Interview: Curtis Lynch on Gregory Issacs

April 22, 2013

In the last few months Curtis Lynch Junior of Necessary Mayhem has been sequestered away tinkering with a deeply personal project. It’s a remix album of songs by the late Gregory Isaacs, based on productions by Lynch’s hero and mentor Gussie Clarke. Like Coxsone Dodd before him, Clarke isn’t known for giving out his rhythms freely and easily, especially for an artist such as Gregory. So it’s understandable that Curtis would consider ‘Necessary Mayhem Presents… Gregory Isaacs Remixed’ a serious undertaking; fine-tuning everything from the music to some extraordinary stained glass inspired artwork by Israel’s My Lord. Having emerged from the catacombs, with the CD on its way to record store shelves, Lynch spoke to Angus Taylor about the need to meet, not just his own standards, but those of his father, his stepfather, Gussie Clarke, Gregory’s fans and the great man himself…

Curtis Lynch

Can you remember when you first heard Gregory Isaacs?

Top question. My first memory of Gregory was coming from school and seeing my dad sitting in a chair, one leg on top of the other, fingers locked together, with this really satisfied look on his face. All that was missing was the glass of whisky and ice and a cigar! He was playing the More Gregory album, which took pride of place on the turntable for months. My dad wasn’t a man of many words back then but the satisfaction with this Gregory album being in our home meant “This is safe. If Dad’s alright with it then it’s alright for us!”


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