Playing tracks by
Tenor Saw, Tony Tuff, KING KONG, Johnny Osbourne, Shinehead and more.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, "dancehall" referred to the kind of reggae that got played at soundclashes & dancehalls--basically the same as standard-issue reggae, but with a more driving beat and a bigger focus on DJ/MC vocals (the precursor to rap), as opposed to your traditional sung reggae vocals.
In 1985, this whole reggae/dancehall dichotomy was radically redefined when Prince Jammy (and other producers) introduced electronic instrumentation into dancehall music. Suddenly "dancehall" came to connote electronic reggae (in addition to the DJ / toasting business).
This synthing-up of reggae music in the '80s is the direct ancestor of today's UK bass music genres like jungle, UK garage, dubstep, UK funky, grime, and the like: disco & house are where all electronic dance music ultimately comes from, but the electrification of reggae is how urban Britons were able to relate to... (full text at http://yearofmixtapes.blogspot.com/2010/06/digi-dancehall.html)