Various Artists

Man & His Music, Vol. 2

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The synthesizer began to dominate reggae in the 1980s, thanks to the massive success of Wayne Smith's "Under Me Sleng Teng." This 13-track set, the second of three highlighting the productions of King Jammy, appropriately begins with "Under Me Sleng Teng," which set the stage for numerous variations. In addition, toasting and vocal styles also changed; they became faster, more slashing and less soulful in order to better punctuate and accompany the slithering, snaking electric keyboards and synth patterns underneath. While traditionalists bemoaned the dearth of "Praise Jah" songs and de-emphasis on soul singing, the new generation hailed the acrobatics of Tenor Sax, Pinchers and Pad Anthony. These are the songs that paved the way for the late-'80s and early-'90s hip-hop/dancehall explosion.