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Today was pretty damn awesome. Around 9.30am, we kicked off on a Jamaican music tour with our guide, Carlo. A pretty cool dude as it turned out.

First up – Tuff Gong studio (picture of one of the wall murals below), a drive through Trench Town and then a visit to Sea Water Records in Tivoli Gardens. Horace Andy owns Sea Water and they blasted a whole heap of tunes and gave us CDs of his new music.

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We then went to Studio 17 and saw their antique record studio and dug through some vinyl crates. I sat around, enjoyed the music and looked at the pretty much pornographic liquor posters hanging from the ceiling (pic below).

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After that was an ital lunch at Jah One where they also make the big speaker boxes for Jamaica’s famous sound systems (see below for pics of the workshop). The sound was incredible and the food was really tasty. We had ackee and salt fish with coleslaw, boiled veg and rice and peas plus homemade limeade that we added some Wray & Nephew to (of course).

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After lunch, we headed to Alpha, a vocational school that was formerly a home for “wayward boys”. This was a truly incredible experience. We got to see how these people are trying to give disadvantaged youth a chance to learn skills like screen printing, woodwork, tailoring and music. Some of the students did an impromptu performance for us, which was super cool. We bought some t-shirts and posters (all made by the kids) and walked out of there feeling really inspired and impressed by what the nuns, teachers and volunteers are doing for these boys. Some pretty famous musicians came through Alpha and both the current woodwork teachers are prior students so it was pretty impressive.

It was a great day full of music and stories and general awesomeness. And we got home in time for the sunset which was A. M. A. Z. I. N. G. We had some champagne while watching the sun go down and are now sipping rum and plotting tonight’s move.

The world truly does feel like it’s our oyster. Don’t be (too) jealous.

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