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Spotlight on Syndicate
By Lady Zimma & Miss Mention, Dainty Crew
(more articles from this author)
2001-09-25
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DJ Stretch
One of Jamaica's "uptown sound systems," Syndicate, consists of, disc jockeys Mahal Brown (DJ Taj), Jermaine Ranglin (Ragga B) and Zachary Harding. Sean Jeffery (DJ Stretch) doubles up as a disc jockey and technician, while Marvin Miller takes on the role as technician. All members have been with the sound between 21/2 and 5 years with the exception of Ragga B who has been with the sound for approximately 18 months. The sound is headed and solely owned by Richard West.

DJ Strech is the senior selector and a veteran in the selecting world. He is versatile and a quality player and can adapt to any situation, also technically on the turntables he is very sound and quick.

DJ Taj is also another wicked selector whose knowledge of various genres of music enables him to be able to play a variation of music, which means he can blend into any crowd.

Over recent months Zachary hasn't played an active role in Syndicate due to family and other commitments taking up the majority of his time. Although Richard states, "if he is really needed he may work but more for the uptown arena and more for the older crowd...he is one of the longest members so u can say he is a member for life."

Ragga B is concentrating on being a rapper therefore is not so readily available to play out but he's still part of the crew.

Marvin Miller is considered to be one of the best sound system technicians around and this is reflected in the large amount of calls he receives requesting his expertise in assisting with stringing up other sounds. He is also the selector for new Danceall sound, Titanium.

DJ Taj

Prior to working on Syndicate, Richard was involved with the Dirty Dozen sound in Privia. He was lured by music due to his love for it and what it brings to the people. Richard's inspiration was taken from David Muir of Legend Disco.

Syndicate started out as a high school hobby for Richard. He put the sound to one side while concentrating on other things and he started it back up in the 90s. Richard lives uptown just of the Molynes Road in Kingston, Jamaica and the rest of the sound members are dotted around Kingston.

Up until December 2000 Syndicate was home to two more disc jockeys namely Craig Parkes (DJ Left Side) and Matthew Thompson (DJ Esco). They departed company with Syndicate to channel their energies into solo selecting and producing and they continue a good relationship with Syndicate.

Syndicate don't play one type of music and Richard says, "We are versatile in all music." He classes the sound as an uptown sound but doesn't think that this deters people from all different walks of life from enjoying Syndicate, "because the bridge between both areas in music are close."

Syndicate have played at many stage shows alongside international acts including Busta Rhymes and 112. They have played in Japan, Miami (where they received their best response), the Caribbean, New York, Tampa and Washington and they would like to visit Europe.

Syndicate are affiliated with 2Hard Sound through Zachary (his brother is Jeremy Harding who brought us Beenie Man's smash hit 'Who Am I') and the other DJs have their own studios in their homes.

Richard West
When not working on Syndicate the members enjoy listening to Bounty Killer, Spragga Benz, Renaissance, Stone Love and Tony Matterhorn. Richard also helps run the family business.

Richard believes that dancehall is exciting but artists have to try and clean up their lyrics where necessary. His advice to up and coming sounds is, "creep, walk, then run. To try to rush it will never work that way."

Syndicate maintain an innovative image of the sound with the active minds of the young and energetic team. Syndicate see all other sound systems as competitors because the, "market is so packed."

Syndicate's plans for the future are to maintain their status and improve. "Keep listening there are new things in store," Richard promises. He thinks that he has done, "OK but there is a lot more to accomplish." Syndicate have all musical angles covered with a sound that consists of easy access to studios, producers, musicians, promoters and artists. Bearing this in mind they are a force to be reckoned with and no doubt they will accomplish a lot more.

If you would like to book Syndicate then contact Richard West by emailing syndicatedisco@hotmail.com or west@colis.com or via telephone on 1-876-368-7142, or 1-876-920-4949.


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