General Echo Biography

d. 1980. Jamaican DJ Echo (aka Ranking Slackness) was one of the first to challenge the predominantly ‘cultural’ approach of the majority of mid- to late 70s DJs, and his influence on the new generation of DJs who made it in the 80s (in particular the UK MC school) was profound. He was one of the first DJs to be heard and fully appreciated on yard tapes, as he tore up Jamaica on his own Echo Tone Hi Fi set, and his preference for ‘slack’ or risqué lyrics, in particular his timing and tone of voice, was very popular and widely imitated. Echo felt no compunction about stopping the music altogether, if the vibes were right, in order to tell a joke or two - a facet that endeared him even more to his followers. His version of Winston Riley’s ‘Stalag’ rhythm - ‘Arleen’ - was a number 1 hit in Jamaica and the future was looking very bright for Echo until he was shot dead by the police in Kingston in 1980, along with Flux and Big John (both from his sound system), in an incident that has never been fully explained.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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