Maximum Sound 20:20

September 17, 2013

maximumsound2020-review.jpgThe film director Francis Ford Coppola commented on his status as one of the leaders of the New Hollywood movement of the 1970s saying that he wasn’t the oldest of the young guys – he was the youngest of the old guys. The same could be said about Paris-born, London-resident reggae producer Frenchie – who celebrates 20 years of his Maximum Sound label with this 40-track compilation.

You could call Frenchie the first of the successful European producers, who paved the way for the Special Deliveries and the Pow Pows who joined him in the international reggae market of the new century. Yet Frenchie actually moved from France to be closer to the dynamism, innovation and Caribbean culture of London. Throughout his career he has never strayed far from utilising Jamaican talent. For his digital productions he often works with Lenky Marsden whereas his live instrument creations frequently feature Sly & Robbie on drum and bass. He has never been partial to one sub-genre; staying aware of the trends whilst reviving bygone rhythms in the style of the day. Fashion Records, where he apprenticed, did things in a similar way. He arrives between the initial wave of foreign obsessives who got involved in the music like Fashion’s Chris Lane and John McGillivray and the next generation that have taken reggae to the point where it is deemed more prevalent in Europe than in the place of its birth.

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