Local and international music fraternities are mourning the loss of revered Jamaican record-engineering maverick Robert Dixon, who is best known by his moniker ‘Bobby Digital’. Dixon began his foray into music production, in the Waterhouse community of Kingston, Jamaica, under the tutelage of veteran producer Lloyd ‘King Jammy’ James.
The Grammy award-winning record producer is widely lauded for having spearheaded the incorporation of digital elements into dancehall-reggae music during the 1980s, during his stint as an engineer at the famed King Jammy studio, before venturing out on his own.
The world-renowned acclaimed hitmaker parted ways with James to form his prolific Digital-B label, in the late 80s. Dixon continue to popularise the computerised production techniques on his imprint and would become responsible for some of Jamaica’s most recognisable recordings.
The Digital B-label hit the ground running and began churning out iconic singles, albums and rhythm-driven music from a slew of artistes, including Super Cat, Anthony B, Half Pint, Cocoa Tea, Josey Wales, Spragga Benz, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, and Richie Spice.
Citing multiple interviews from Dixon, the engineer’s first Digital-B hit came from the infectious and bouncy Peanie Peanie ‘riddim’.
Iconic music produced and recorded under the Digital-B banner can be found on Sizzla‘s Black Woman & Child and Good Ways, Morgan Heritage‘s Protect Us Jah, Garnett Silk‘s Give I Strength, Shabba Ranks‘ Mr. Loverman, as well as rhythm-driven offerings Dem Bow, Kette Drum, Asylum and Six Deuce. The producer’s moniker was also affixed to the extensive and outstanding Serious Times and Xtra Wicked anthologies.
The works of the Digital-B studio influenced and launched a crop of artistes and musicians while pioneering a historic era in Jamaica’s music and, also, offset new genres. Dem Bow, from the label’s producing duo Steely and Clevie, is largely recognised as the ground zero for the sample which gave birth the formidable music style that is Reggaeton.
Among hallowed Digital-B-produced singles are Buju Banton‘s ‘Til I’m Laid To Rest, Garnett Silk‘s It’s Growing, Ras Shiloh‘s Come Down Jah Jah, Terror Fabulous‘ Glamourous, Daddy Screw‘s Sign, Tanya Stephens‘ Handle The Ride, A.J. Brown‘s Father & Friend, General Degree‘s Papa Lover, Mickey Spice & Louie Culture‘s Grab Yu Lass And Come, Capleton‘s Raggy Road, and Sanchez‘ Missing You Now.
Editor’s Note: Condolences to the family and friends of the late Robert ‘Bobby Digital’ Dixon from the OAJ team.