THE RETURN OF STEELY & CLEVIE... What do riddims like "Taranchyla", "Winner", "Black Widow", "Bagpipe", "Infinity" and "Shatta" have in common ? They all have been laid by Steely & Clevie and these riddims marked the return of Steely & Clevie in the dancehall after being quiet for some time.
Wycliffe "Steely" Johnson and Cleveland "Clevie" Browne - from the musical Browne family and brother Danny (Main Street), Dalton and Noel (both involved with Freddie McGregor's "Big Ship" camp) and Glen (bass player for Ziggy Marley) - both started their career at the legendary Studio One. Clevie played for several years as drummer in the Studio One Band, whilst Steely - alongside Style Scott and Flabba Holt - became part of the legendary studio band The Roots Radics, the band that dominated the dancehall/rub-a-dub era.
In the mid-eighties, when studio bands were replaced by drummachines and synthesizers, Steely & Clevie started to play a key role on this turning point of reggae music. They can be seen as the Godfathers of digital dancehall music and they created a complete new sound by making use of the Yamaha DX100 and CS01 synths. They built numerous classic riddims for producers like the then leading King Jammy, Gussie Clarke, Bobby Digital, Redman and Lloyd Dennis. Riddims like "Punanny", "Duck", "Chinatown", "Rumours" and "Fishmarket" are now regarded as classics. In the nineties Steely & Clevie continued to build riddims and were also very successful with their own "Steely & Clevie" label. On a certain moment Mafia & Fluxy and the Firehouse Crew gave them some competition and Sly & Robbie returned into the dancehall arena after a break of some years. This pushed Steely & Clevie a little bit to the background, but nevertheless they were still able to introduce a complete new sound as they started the "Bogle" craze.
Taking production to a lower level Steely & Clevie started doing remixes for major artists and they also started building their own studio, Studio 2000. From this studio came hit riddims such as "Skettel Bomb", "Columbian Necktie", "Copy Cat" and "Sniper". Two years ago I met Clevie at Studio 2000. One thing that I will never forget is that, when I was talking to him, Steely phoned from London with the idea for a new riddim, explaining it to Clevie who had to play it on the keyboard because Steely hadn't one available at that moment.

Now Steely & Clevie seem to be back in the dancehall at full level laying hot riddims for other producers and dominating the dances with riddims like "Winner", "Bagpipe", "Black Widow" and the new "Broke Bottle" riddim. Please find below a selective discography of riddims that recently appeared and have been laid by Steely & Clevie.

Selective discography:

    SHINES PRODUCTION (produced by Shane "Shines" Richard)
  • Taranchyla riddim : Shines 7"(JA) / Greensleeves 12" (U.K.)
  • Black Widow riddim : Shines 7"(JA) / Greensleeves 7" (U.K.)
  • Nightcrawler riddim : Shines 7"(JA) / Greensleeves 7" (U.K.)

  • POT OF GOLD (produced by Richie Stephens)
  • Winner riddim : Pot Of Gold 7"(JA) / Greensleeves 7" (U.K.)

  • COLIN FAT (produced by Colin "Fat" Walters)
  • Shatta riddim : Colin Fat 7"(JA)

  • STUDIO 2000 (produced by Steely & Clevie)
  • Sniper riddim : Studio 2000 7"(JA) / Greensleeves 12" (U.K.)
  • Bagpipe riddim : Studio 2000 7"(JA) / Greensleeves 7" (U.K.)

  • TOGETHERNESS (produced by Togetherness Crew)
  • Ruff Life riddim : Togetherness 7"(JA)

  • Q45 (produced by Desmond & Rupert Blake)
  • Infinity riddim : Q45 7"(JA)
  • Broke Bottle riddim : Greensleeves 7" (U.K.)

Writer: Danny "Pepperseed" Bouten, November 1998.
You can contact Danny "Pepperseed" Bouten through e-mail: danny@ovadoze.myweb.nl

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