Winston Riley”s label and studio lives on

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WHEN veteran music producer Winston Riley died in 2012 some persons believed it meant the end of his vaunted Techniques label.

But, that was the furthest thing from the minds of his sons Andre and Kurt, who are moving steadfastly with plans to maintain their father’s legacy.

“My father loved the music, it was really the joy of his life,” says Andre Riley in an interview with Splash. “That’s why we have to keep his legacy alive by putting out good music and keeping the label alive.”

Renovation is underway at the Techniques headquarters on historic ‘Beat Street’ at 99 Orange Street in downtown Kingston.

The Riley siblings are looking to restore the popular record shop, improve the recording studio and build a museum to showcase the life and legacy of their famous father.

Andre Riley says this should come on stream within the next three months.

“We are looking to rent the space downstairs. Upstairs will house the record shop, which should be up and running in another month. The recording studio and museum will also be upstairs and should be open for business in about three months’ time.”

Restoration of the Techniques building is part of their vision to re-energise downtown Kingston, which has suffered from urban blight.

“Orange Street is really a hub for business. We therefore felt it was important to step up and play our part to create a comfortable setting which will help to bring people back into the area including tourists,” Andre Riley states.

His brother Kurt, known as a sound system selector and radio disc jockey, is eager to get the recording and production side of things going.

We will be looking to enhance and rebrand the Techniques label, while maintaining the standards which my father was known for, as well as create hit music for all genres, both local and international,” he notes.

Kurt Riley is already working with a number of reggae acts to relaunch the label. Already in the camp are Beres Hammond, Voicemail, Demarco, and Morgan Heritage.

“The music Dad created was always on the edge of what’s happening, and we intend to continue that,”says Kurt Riley.

Winston Riley started his career as a member of the Techniques, which flourished as a ska and rocksteady group with Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid.

As a producer, he was just as successful. His biggest hits include Double Barrell by Dave Barker and Ansell Collins, Ring The Alarm (Tenor Saw), Boops (Super Cat) and Loneliness (Sanchez).


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