Resources for Music Recording & Distribution in the Caribbean

This site is the result of a movement to formally industrialize and expand caribbean music in a global marketplace. It includes information on a yearly conference held in the caribbean and links to various artists, sponsors, and local/international organizations concerned with either the production or distribution of music.

Caribbean 2 World is a Jamaica-owned & based company which promotes and serves the artists of the caribbean—providing them with a local publishing & recording architecture aimed at broadcasting globally. The site, which appears to have several sections not yet complete, includes most fruitfully links to artists, news, and its various social media sites. These provide insight into the conditions and global penetration of the individual Caribbean musician.

Home to the Copyright Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Incorporated (originally restricted to Barbados, but more recently expanded to the greater Caribbean area), this site hosts millions of songs in its database, as well as offering a marketplace/interchange for musicians and various audiences (including other companies, venues, individual consumers, etc). It provides a primary, internationally recognized source for artists to retain intellectual property over their work, while also including links to highlighted performers, performances, workshops, and other music-related news regarding the Caribbean.

Simeon Louis Sandiford incorporated Sanch Electronix in 1979, and this site is the online home of the evolution of that company. Founded strongly in a local-recording framework, the website functions now as a promotion tool for local Trinidadian musicians & groups (especially steel pan artists), as a digital production marketplace (both front-end and back-end), and as an education center for music technology and steel pan culture & history. It offers numerous studio services, but perhaps most notably is involved with “on-location” recording, allowing for a greater flexibility and localization for its clients. The commitment to education, as well as the independent development of various educational software, is also apparent.

Guardians of Music is a COSCAP-based site promoting the benefits of music & copyright through a series of artist profiles, a songwriting competition, and a community element involving visits to schools. Aimed primarily towards younger artists & secondary education, the site provides an intriguing connection between established international artists, local heroes and up-and-coming musicians.

Ice Records is one of the oldest state-of-the-art labels in the Caribbean, run by the Guyanese Eddy Grant. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the best-maintained and most content-heavy sites of local music, including a vast quantity of artists, songs, discographies, courses and workshops. It also contains a minimal store of music for purchase, and links to Ice’s prime jewel— the legendary Blue Wave recording studios. Oddly, the section of the site advertising the studios is written in a completely different tone from the rest of the site, much more geared towards a “tourist” mindset as opposed to the grassroots, ground-up Caribbean mindset.

Focused primarily on Jamaica & Reggae, but providing links to other Caribbean music as well, this site is a fairly dynamic dissemination hub as well as a thorough historical catalogue. It contains an interactive timeline, a cultural background with information about the various styles and periods of Jamaican music, and other information linking music and other facets of Jamaican culture. It presents information of upcoming concerts and festivals within Jamaica, as well as a platform for emerging musicians in its “Music” section. Probably most innovative and interesting is its “Virtual DJ” function, which allows the user to load up over 6,000 Jamaican songs and mix them on a virtual deck.

Caribbean Dance Music, which is Electronic Dance Music (EDM) merged with other Caribbean dance styles and performed by native artists, is a nascent scene coming up the ranks, and this is its online home. A visually and functionally clean site, there is nonetheless a lack of apparent use, partially because of the reliance on forcing users to create an account to access its content. However, the links it provides to its social media presence paint a much more involved story—sort of a theme with many newer, faster-moving web presences. The site certainly seems prepared to fill up with music and connections from all over the Caribbean, and, in conjunction with P.L.U.R. Islands (which has no website but a strong on-the-ground and social media presence) attempts to bridge different styles and positions within local and international dance music. They have contests for DJs and musicians, host festivals that draw both regional and world-renowned talent, and helped launch the inaugural Caribbean Dance Music Conference (CDMC), which they hope to continue annually.

Caribbean Music Group is based in Trinidad, and is a high level recording, licensing, and production company, combining several specialized companies and services into one hub. They represent, produce, or publish some of the biggest names in the Trinidadian music scene. They are also responsible, through their connection with Maturity Productions, for several documentary and docudrama films centered around the musical history and evolving culture of the region and its styles (notable pan & calypso).

This is a wordpress site that combines activism, news, political representation, legal advice & awareness, community building, education and artist promotion within Trinidad & Tobago. It runs numerous projects, many of which are available on or through its site, and nearly all of which are geared towards either the history or present of “Trinibagonian” art & music. The layout is confusing, with much of the content available only obliquely, but through its social media and tangential sites, the coalition appears eminently valuable for the creative sector in Trinidad, both as a promotion and presentation tool & as a technical and legal aid.

The official site of the ACIJ and the Jamaica Memory Bank, this site contains overall information regarding Jamaican cultural history and the museum’s various projects and exhibitions. Most notably, it includes a tantalizing link to a vast untapped musical (& other audio) recordings vault, mostly collected on tapes and CDs, and clearly never digitized (as the online portal itself is still under construction).


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