Night Music: Matumbi, “Point of View”

After college I had an office job, working as projectionist and advertising manager for an independent film distributor. Maybe not your typical office job, though I did a bit of filing, too.

Our offices were in the Lincoln Building, across the street from Grand Central Station. It was a weird job, perhaps because I really had no idea what it meant to work in an office. And spend part of my time in the projection room, recommending movies that would become classics (but were rejected), like Ms. 45 and Diva, to company owners who made some smart choices on their own, like Breaker Morant and Eating Raoul.

matumbi-povOne of the distractions of the day was hitting the Disco-mat store across the street on my way home from work. I bought the US version of The Clash there, and the Rolling Stones Emotional Rescue. I also found an album by a band I’d never heard of that seemed promising because of the cover, which was a thin-collared brown suit on a field of green and yellow. It was the opposite of two-tone, and yet seemed unheard of a piece. Perhaps more importantly Dennis Bovell, producer of the Slits, was in the band.

The second Matumbi album is a brilliant commercial roots reggae move. It has giant ambition stamped on it, though it landed like a cult item among US reggae fans who didn’t mind the polish. And this song charted in 1979, for obvious reasons.

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