My Dutch reggae project (reaching out to old friends)


New member
Hi, it's me, Tjarko. I started on HR around 2000, moved to RP later on, and after RP stopped I decided to take a break from recording related message boards. A very long break. But thanks to my collaborations with Paul, I decided to revisit this site again and I've seen so many familiar names that I'd like to say hi.

It seems like a good idea to start sharing where I'm currently at: I just released a solo Dutch reggae album which features my friend Geert-Jan on drums, a couple of guys from Fiverr on horns, brass and conga's ánd even Lt. Bob on horns (using tracks he played about 20 years ago :oops:). I wrote, arranged, recorded (vocals, guitar, bass, keys, percussion) and mixed everything. It's been mixed, mastered and uploaded to streaming services, so if you have mixing commentary I can't do anything about it I'm afraid :giggle:

Oh I'm singing in Dutch so it probably sounds like a cat vomiting hairballs for people who are not used to it, but it might bring back some memories for others? Seeing your names pop up on this forum surely does. Hope you're all doing well.

Anyway, here are the links:


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Better than good. Be proud. They're all great, but Track 6 is my fav. Just saying. (Or rather, not saying, because I can't pronounce it.)

On another site I frequent, I listen to tracks by a Welsh country band - they sound like Nashville, but they sing in Welsh. Welsh cowboys, Dutch reggae - it's nice when at least *some* things are getting better lol.
I’d love to get a set of dry stems so I could dub it…..
Maybe you would consider it. Love it.
I've liked reggae since the late 60s/early 70s, when it was mutating from ska into what it became. It was long felt that unless it was being played by Jamaicans, it was somehow inauthentic.
In a nuanced kind of way, there was some truth to that, although I don't think "inauthentic" is the 'cuss' that it was clearly meant to be.

The Beatles had appropriated ska as early as 1964 in "I Call Your Name" and the big ska hit of the time "My Boy Lollipop" by Millie Small, {I think the Beatles heard it - McCartney was living with Jane Asher, whose brother was going out with Millie - and copped from it, like they did with so much of their music, in a thievingly, idiosyncratically, original way}.

In fact, when people of West Indian origin used to laugh at non-Jamaican reggae and say it was inauthentic or fake or not on a par with the original, they were unwittingly highlighting how stuck up its own backside and potentially stiff authentic reggae was. Once any form of music has to have this and that in it, it's on the way to peaking, then dying a death unless it retains freshness by moving into different arenas and seeing if they can be of use in its survival and refashioning.

Yes, in the 70s and early 80s, there was tons of great reggae, but it wasn't particularly inventive, with a few stellar exceptions. And it played itself out within a few years of Bob Marley's death.
Personally, I've long preferred the "reggae" that came from musicians that weren't, as a rule, reggae artists. Because they weren't philosophically, culturally, financially or politically tied to the music, they had no problem with incorporating elements into their reggae or flavouring their music with reggae that genuine "authentic" reggae artists rarely had the courage to.

I love reggae-flavoured music. As far as I'm concerned, reggae is a form of music that can be developed, bent, incorporated, expanded, fused, inverted, and knocked about, just like any other.
It is not an end in itself.
I like the songs on this collection. I like that they take a journey through the different types of reggae that developed in its heyday.
I particularly like no.7, "Oh Ja Joh ?" and the one that follows it, "Egostrelers." The stop-starts towards the end are right up my street ! I love those crazy ideas. I really like the horn parts throughout and the clarinet. Some of the electric guitar is brilliant. I don't particularly like the last song, although I love the invention of it and it gets better towards the end.
I like that it's sung in Dutch {at the moment, my eldest child is doing a year's study in Rotterdam. He lives in Schiedam}. I dig all kinds of music and I've been listening to music in different languages all of my life so it never diminishes the music for me. French, Gaelic, Portuguese, Ibo, German, various patois', Creole, it's all Moroccan Roll to me.
👍🏿:thumbs up:
Thank you for your nice words! Somehow it feels like I've passed some kind of test, because I was very cautious to do it right and respectfully. It seems like you have heard a lot of this type of music, so it means a lot that you like it.

I have a deep and heartfelt appreciation for all kinds of 70s roots reggae and dub. My choice to do no edits whatsoever, use first takes, leave mistakes, to choose this instrumentation (and even panning scheme conforms to certain traditions) and above all: to try and keep spontaneity, both in tracking as in mixing, was all done in honour of the music of The Gladiators, Culture, etc. But the album is actually a tribute to Doe Maar, a famous Dutch reggae/ska band. I played their music a lot when I was a little kid, and the lead singer/bass player Henny Vrienten made me wanna play bass, write songs and sing. He died last year, so this is my way of saying thanks. To someone from the Netherlands, Dutch reggae isn't weird at all. We all know this band and their songs. I would even say it's a part of our tradition by now.

Although it was intended as a tribute, a lot of other influences slipped in (more other parts of me, in other words). So I understand that it doesn't sound like 'true' roots reggae to someone who is used to this idiom, but music can evolve in my opinion. I've never felt so relaxed before when I was recording it. It was a liberating experience, to be honest. A lot of fun too.