As the voice of Michael Jackson rang out from practically every radio station worldwide, Sly & Robbie were ensconced at Compass Point Studios. Meanwhile, the Caribbean diaspora in London was riding the crest of the lovers rock wave as new soca warriors were dethroning the long-reigning calypso monarchs of Trinidad. In the Eastern part of the United States, electro and hip hop were emerging, and a new generation in Chicago and Detroit were laying the foundations for house and techno.
Every one of these sounds and movements were unique to their time and place, parallel developments that benefited from access to new studio technology and reflected the desire of the artists to express their surroundings and social realities through music. But whereas the origin stories of reggae, hip hop and house have passed into pop culture folklore, the sinuous, instantly recognizable drum machine-driven grooves of zouk have always stood on the outside.