The Legendary Downbeat Rules ‘Vintage Rumble’ by @IrishAndChin
Contributed Article – The borough of Queens, New York came alive on Saturday, April 16, 2016 with the sounds of nostalgic, 20 years and older Reggae and Dancehall music at Irish and Chin’s first ever “Vintage Rumble.” Some of the industry’s most influential and noteworthy veteran sounds, including Downbeat, Bodyguard, Black Scorpio and Silver Hawk, along with Mighty Crown, engaged in the ultimate sound clash, seeing them dig deep in their prized boxes to entertain the diverse, packed crowd.
“Vintage Rumble was a great way to celebrate the legacy of some of yesteryear’s top contributors,” says Garfield “Chin” Bourne, Irish and Chin. “The event’s staging brought patrons way back musically and each sound proved why they should be respected as masters of their craft.”
As the clock struck midnight, the clash’s hosts Reddfacez (Poison Dart sound) and Ajax (Blunt Posse) enlightened the anxious crowd on the clash’s rules, as well as made introductions. Immediately following, the incredible music battle kick started and “from the gate,” the sounds went full throttle, drawing for classic big tunes and rare gems in the form of 45’s and dub plates to entertain the massive audience. Immense forwards erupted through out the clash, as fans were wowed by golden era music selections from the impressive line up of sound men.
While the clash was truly a survival of the fittest, doubly sparking rivalry and entertainment, it was the infamous Downbeat sound that stood taller than the rest, outshining their opponents with music, music history and entertainment. Notably, the Bronx-based killing sound won the inaugural “Vintage Rumble” clash, after defeating Mighty Crown in a heated final “tune-fi-tune” showdown.
“It was such a great feeling to see the joy expressed by Tony Screw and the Downbeat team when it was announced that they won the ‘Vintage Rumble’,” says Bourne. “Downbeat is a true cultural icon, who has flown the flag high for Reggae and Dancehall for decades.”
What was extra exciting about the Downbeat victory was that Tony Screw shared the stage with some of the young generals on his sound, allowing them to showcase their talent, literally “buss” the crowd and usher Downbeat in to a “tune-fi-tune” victory round. Downbeat’s penchant for studio one selections, unprecedented tunes and uniquely cut dubs were second to none, making it hard for contenders to top. Much to the credit of the competitors, each sound gave a platform for their younger members to shine.
Meanwhile, Mighty Crown scored as “Vintage Rumble’s” biggest element of surprise. The Yokohama, Japan based sound giants proved themselves beyond measure on the “Vintage Rumble” stage, demonstrating that their years in the industry (less than the other contenders) did not hinder their colossal performance. The sound’s top notch performance decimated the “they don’t fit” theory. Well connected speeches, heavy and commercially successful tunes and overall solid entertainment secured a spot for Mighty Crown on the clash until the end, where they boldly competed against Downbeat, one of the industry’s most profound figures, in a “tune-fi-tune.”
Musical bliss overcame the Amazura entertainment complex from round 1, which saw no sounds eliminated. The clash’s momentum continued into round 2, which resulted in Bodyguard’s elimination. By round 3, it was clear who would prevail as the intense sound competition’s forerunners. Although the statuesque Jack Scorpio, who was at the helm of his Black Scorpio sound, unleashed some prized tunes, it wasn’t enough to keep the famed sound in the running. As fate has it and the crowd determined, Black Scorpio was eliminated in round 3.
As the clash’s excitement and energy peaked, it was round 4 that clash fans describe as the night’s most entertaining segment. The high impact round was diehard music competition and showmanship in it’s finest form, resulting in a show down between Silver Hawk, Downbeat and Mighty Crown. Silver Hawk’s Richie Poo, who was in control through out the clash, was praised by the audience for his cleanly cut “wicked” tunes and performance consistency. Crown received huge forwards from the crowd for their music and witty speeches, while Downbeat’s young guns thrilled the crowd with their impressive set.