Music Reviews

Prince Jammy – “Prince Jammy Presents Strictly Dub: Pressure Sounds 67” – [Pressure Sounds]

surferrosa   10/9/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Before King Jammy… there was Prince Jammy. This record is taken from an obscure album that briefly surfaced in the early 80s and according to the liner notes is regarded as a minor masterpiece of Jammy’s mixing style. What you have here is bouncy dub dubby dub with a swing and a sway. All instro… that is no vocal samples. Sounds like a super stony chill session on an island beach..the grooves roll and the bass lines bump. Side A has more of a sleepy kick back sort of feel. Side B is a bit more upbeat and horny. Dub-tastic. -Surfer Rosa

Jah Shaka – “Happiness / Exile Dub” – [Jah Shaka Music]

Thurston Hunger   9/7/2012   12-inch, Reggae

12″ 45 single from 1982 or so, new to KFJC now. Start on the
bottom with Exile Dub, so you can see the bass as it prowls…
wait for the part where it drops those three high notes.
Bim bim boooo. That is one fine predatory bass line. The horns
add a sweetness, reverb’d guitar could swirl a surf listener
in. The happiness is more subtle on the dub side, it springs
out as the minor riff blooms briefly into a major. The roller
rink key boards are added in later and also a nice touch…
On the A side aka the vocal, the happiness is less subtle,
the horns take a back seat to the positivity offered lyrically
by Bim Sherman, now the bass is moving behind the furniture.
Still on the prowl, but you got to look a little harder to spot
it. Close it out toasting style, Yabby You works in a murder
style, giving the track a bit more frenzy that befits that
killer bassline -Thurston Hunger

Rockers Vibration [coll] – [Dread at the Controls]

MSTiZA   8/28/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Rockers Vibration is an exclusive compilation from the studios of Michael Campbell aka Mikey Dread (RIP) on his Dread At The Controls label. If you are a fan of reggae music you will recognize nearly every artist and producer. You will hear the tape echo snare of Tubby’s style on the Ovation’s Shy Girl. Rod Taylor’s His Imperial Majesty is found on the full length from Taylor, Ethiopian Kings. Freezing is a classic and the studio session players are all stars on this one. Forever Love features classic Sly and Robbie. Hot Cross Bun is top notch. Sunshine’s Taking the World is a hit. Roll it up and enjoy.

Lepki, Lui – “Late Night Movie” – [Joe Gibbs Music]

Grizzly Adam   5/17/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Peers, focus on the process of school. Landlord, they don’t
like the nightshift smoke signals. Who says these? Lui Lepki.
Who likes the couch, company, and which murdererstyle dj
doing rubadub doesn’t like the latenight movie? Can’t buy
love, or loving words. But best things in life are free. Food for
penitentiary, it cost money. Family and loves, even belly
empty, are better, seen? Understand, we have here
something called Reggae started by Bob Marley, some say
Prophet, some, King of Reggae. The blind must be led, keep
on moving ahead. Society gets a blow, so fight against violence a must, that builds the nation where we want love
in a jam down, no violence, one big family. Sweet
honeybunch, and harmony. And Majesty, rightful ruler. One
destiny. It all breaks down and goes crazy with the custom
officer, the high point of the album. Quite a journey by way
of mouth and good for the version all over the kfjc reggae

Isaacs, Gregory – “Hold Tight” – [Cousins Records]

Grizzly Adam   5/17/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Hovering hold hands heavy hot ‘Open the door’ key setup
begin. Love the Burning – drum snap of the hi hat, and shuby
du-badu of liking the – Spearish ‘Margaret’. Slow dance
darling to the oldies style, gangstar horn of ‘Hold Tight’.
Dubbed out, Ethopians sync #4. Hear him hold on homonym
maud dib/wah dee wah da wah do – do you no know on a
classic patrol riddim. #6 Half the harmony specialty back
and forth, love and mind, half dubbed out rework of smooth
retro dancehall. ‘Josephine’ returns to the heavy energetic
spot on roots/lovers beginning the album. Out of nowhere, pure skank spunk of essence ‘False Evidence’, voicing a loss
of rights and arrest – stars on this one. Comet impact, three
seven delta, B#3 ‘Same Time’ strikes good for a one hit
intense overall freedom show. To knock some lively sense
into them, Isaacs brings ‘Me Nah Want’. Lovely early disco
oldies come again, in B#5, and segues tune-wise, power!
Come again. Last cut fast and dubby.

Boothe, Ken – “Who Gets Your Love?” – [Trojan Records]

humana   4/26/2012   12-inch, Reggae

The album cover describes Jamaican Boothe as “Magnificent, Mean, and Moody” I didn’t hear the mean on here, but the moody predominated, if you can call reggae moody. Many of the lyrics reminded me of other songs, but with a distinct twist all Boothe’s own. There’s a cover of Marley’s “African Lady” here, and the standout for me was “This Love,” which was more along the lines of Magnificent with its upbeat rhythms.

Kiddus I – “Rocking Rebel” – [MVDaudio]

Grizzly Adam   4/7/2012   CD, Reggae

The reality of this release is that it is off cassette which was never released, and 20 years later we are now getting the document allowing us to evaluate the sole work of Kiddus I, and here is how he fits in. CD One #1 African Brothers #3 Barrington Levi, Eek-a-mouse #4 Rock my boat, Clint Eastwood, Congos #5 Wailers, Israel Vibration, Burning Spear #6 Charlie Chaplin #7 Jimmy Riley #8 Morwells #9 Dennis Brown, Heptones, Melodians #10 Jacob Miller CD Two #1 Andrew Tosh, Jah Cure #2 Frankie Paul #3 Blood and Fire, Pressure Sounds #4 Twinkle Brothers, Black Uhuru, Daweh Congo #5 Extended Dillenger or Johnny Clarke #6 A much loved riddim. Junior Delahaye #7 Freddie McGregor, Winston Jarrett #8 Disco ska #9 Twilight circus dub sound system, Pablo Moses #10 Sean Paul #11 Ini Kamoze

Andy, Horace – “Exclusively” – [Wackie’s]

Cousin Mary   4/6/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Originally released around 1982, German label Wackie’s re-released this long sought after LP in 2005. Horace Andy’s sweet voice predominates on songs concerned with widely varied topics such as clean water, love, prejudice against Rastas, Bob Marley, God, and armageddon.

All tracks are very pleasant, I liked Side B better where there is nice organ on some tracks. Horace Andy also records with Massive Attack.

Queen Omega – “Away From Babylon” – [Jet Star]

Grizzly Adam   3/27/2012   12-inch, Reggae

#1 Entertainment, Rob Rankin’s Solid Foundation introduction tune, KKUP 91.5. Half rap half gospel “indeed”, Jahmazing Grace. Lovers conflated with heavenly overtones of love. #2 Above the conflict and friction in babylon, on large stepping rhythm. #4 Top joint, joyous, without the economy of the bare pop production (solely pop), and not for the dating either, for “single” reasons. Spins with the likes of Tarrus Riley. #5 Evidence of her large voice like used in top 90s soul. B #2 Hip hop style, like Damian Marley. Dancehall in a snap of the body rhythm. “I am the junglist-bring me my cannabis-and you just can’t stop this-you want this.” #3 On the “Satisfy My Soul” wavelength. #4 Did this end up on the Jeff Sarge (WFMU) compilation for the mothers, during the Reggae Schoolroom fundraising marathon, end of February beginning of March, a few years ago? #5 Play with Aisha’s “Wickedness Increase”; on an in common riddim.
-eveningly infinitely wipes

Francis, Winston – “Mr. Fix It” – [Coxsone]

Grizzly Adam   3/27/2012   12-inch, Reggae

#2 A lifted melody. Sure is sweet, and given fine treatment, in vocal and bass. The guitar is a bit prominant, give it a great character, and anticipates since much loved reggae sounds. #3 A sound explored by Jimmy Cliff as well, could have been The Harder They Come or You Can Get It If You Really Want. #4 A cover, “too experienced to be loved by any one”. #5 Eretta a girl, being wooed by the crooning voice of Winston Francis. #6 Tambourine, and the sounds like might be found on old country radio, Elvis and the such. B #1 Built on the melody of that other ancient tune, The Long Black Veil by Lefty Frizzell, which has the coda that talks about the mind going or over my bones, and is quite sad. #2 Funk/Rocksteady. Highly recommended, anticipating funk free jam. #3 About regretable attraction, that kind not good for you, like Philip for Mildred in Of Human Bondage; done in an upbeat style with a nice hand percussion accompaniment. #4 This was upgraded and redone and used many times as a riddim, you might recognise it. #5 Well known. “That’s the sound of a man working on a chain.” Recommended for the Soul Patrol. #6 With a brief solo on the guitar. Composed with having some improvisation in mind.
-eveningly infinitely wipes

Romeo, Max – “Our Rights” – [Greensleeves Records Ltd.]

Grizzly Adam   3/27/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Better on headphones or extremely loud sound-systems, the music otherwise suffers and does contain noise error in it’s production, while the music also is not very compelling. The messages however are. #1 Image, and theoretical diagnosis, theological and philosophical, indicting the realities of mass relativism. #2 Anti-formalist, anti-theoretic-reductionism, is rather, social constructivist, and, economic and rights progressivist. #3 Congos style down-tempo dank saddened sounds. #4 Sensi spirituality, visiting Jah. Genealogy of the smoker, from present to HIM – his imperial majesty. B #1 Keys and bass helixially interwoven. The same year as Luciano’s Where There Is Life, and shares musical qualities with the like of Luciano. Segues right into the next cut (with silence). #4 Black man time, like the cover shows “We want Mandela face on the *kuger rand”. #5 Show stopper, shortened horns, deeper bass played like a strobe light, dub dancehall.
-eveningly infinitely wipes

Twinkle Brothers, The – “Wind of Change” – [Twinkle]

Grizzly Adam   3/27/2012   12-inch, Reggae

The Twinkle sound seems to have branched off toward a more crisp electro-disco sound, embracing the treble pop of the prior decade (it being 1990). I think of cross-over rock reggae, dub dance disco, and the such. Right Here Waiting is the wonderfully sentimental chart topper, commercial hit, and hear the woo woo magic of I Still Love You. Not the disco mix sound, more synth-pop. Last track “Live Good” is great, and would like to dedicate to my neighbor who recently passed away.
-eveningly infinitely wipes

Toyan – “Every Posse Want Me” – [Live and Learn]

Grizzly Adam   3/27/2012   12-inch, Reggae

#2 Ganja is what “It have fi light”, on the pass the kutchie riddim. #3 “Joyce” on a truncated dub of the entertainment riddim. #4 I concur with Toyan, these are more rub-a-dub than otherwise, this one also being quite a strong tune. #5 “Calypso” is fun and dare I say “Ribbit!”. B #1 !! #4 On a much enjoyed riddim, see black roses and eek-a-mouse at sunsplash.
-eveningly infinitely wipes

Aisha – “There Is More to Life…” – [Ariwa]

Grizzly Adam   3/27/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Like Christmas at the heart, Jah in the inside brings happiness in the 12″ form. As good as Alanis Morissette, and in other ways outdoing Ella Fitzgerald. Sound production is top, a studio sound inviting of the lyric Aisha brings. A side, each cut brings out different emotional responses. #1 A choral or humming response along side Aisha (beautiful hidden flute flurries aswell as Christmas reserved reggae technique, the vibraphone). #3 Sticking out the no-no finger and dancing in place in a circle at the hips. #4 Heavy guitar part, for a bar dance crowd or late night radio, with bass punctuating the delivery of the words. B #1 Rebel music, “wrap it in a draw”, do the twist. #2 Faith based chant music in free verse in the style of Prince Far I. #3 The bass line from one of those crooning dance oldies, recommended for the Soul Patrol. #4 This rhythm in vogue on Jah’s Music, recommended. #5 Disco plate style. Like Twinkle but more of the class rather than particularly Twinkle.
-eveningly infinitely wipes

Wailer, Bunny – “Bunny Wailer Live!” – [Solomonic]

humana   2/4/2012   12-inch, Reggae

If you’re searching for something to put you in the party mood, look no further. This live recording of a Dec. 26, 1982 concert in Kingston, Jamaica marks the return to the stage after 7 years of Bunny Wailer. Filled with upbeat roots/dancehall styling, this celebration features Bunny (one of the original Wailers and “stepbrother” to Bob) on lead vocals (with lovely Anna on backing vocals) and occasionally on drums–what a way to start your day! No stress from this remarkable survivor. Start dancing!

White, Sylvan – “Africans Unite” – [Roots Foundation Records]

Grizzly Adam   2/2/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Limited by local circumstances, this artist could only
record during the time most musicians would consider
early in their career. For White it remains as his work.
This collection gathers some of this material, and wow
there are quite a few gems. Roots style rhythms from
players in the Greenwich Town community of the mid
70s. Not a toaster, more natural style, speaking style.
-Eveningly Infinitely Wipes Scrub Sonny Atoms Grizzly Adam

Wilson, Delroy/Prince Jammy – “Dub Plate Style: Pressure Sounds 64” – [Pressure Sounds]

abacus   1/18/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Delroy Wilson was a hit songster outta Trenchtown that got discovered by Coxsone Dodd at age 14 in 1962. The pair of them went on to produce a bunch of classic material through the 60s and he went on to produce cuts for folks like Bunny Lee, King Tubby and here, Prince Jammy. He’s got a soulful sound that was as influenced by R&B and pop music as it was by his island roots and he was known for doing mostly covers that suited his style, instead of writing his own material. He was much more of a storytelling sort of singer and his material could be judged as the Jamaican counterpart to our country-western ballads. The material for this album was originally produced with Bunny Lee and here we have a Prince Jammy remix done at King Tubby’s studios. There is an apparent sound system orientation with the bottom heavy grooves and drum/bass rhythms, with some subtle keyboard injections throughout to emphasize the beat (horn solos on 10,15). A bunch of songs about love, struggle and partying. There seems to be a misogynistic orientation with a lot of stuff about disloyalty and cuckoldry (and one song about beating his girl). Disregarding that, this is some upbeat island dub that’ll get you groovin!

Cole, Stranjah – “Morning Train” – [Jah Shaka Music]

surferrosa   12/6/2011   12-inch, Reggae

Stranjah Cole was mostly active in the Jamaican reggae scene in the 60s and 70s, this is his 21st century release. He has worked with many of your favorite artists such as Ken Boothe and Tommy McCook. This is some classic Jamaican reggae containing classic reggae themes such as Babylon, self empowerment, Jah, Zion….ect. The A side contains vocal tracks, the B side has dub versions of the tracks from side A. The track list on the back of the record lists the songs in incorrect order, so don’t you be fooled. Drum machines, reverb, echo, a touch of horns, groovy, rasta-friendly reggae sounds. -Surfer Rosa

King Tubby &; The Clancy Eccles All Stars – “Sound System International Dub LP” – [Pressure Sounds]

Dianthus   12/6/2011   12-inch, Reggae

A key piece of history to the allmighty creation of dub, King Tubby lets loose on the house band The Dynamites. He succeeds in creating a rhythmic and kicking LP full of crackles, drums, horns and thumping basslines. Tubby’s personal differences ( his shy nature and abstinence to marijuana) and tragic murder are just a small part of his historical status. It is his incredible skills as a musical engineer that keep generations of music lovers coming back for his creative works of auditory art. Most of the mixes on this LP are timed perfectly and are subltety filled with wit and character. Still danceable, Clancy Eccles entrance you with the track correctly named “dance beat” which includes a kind of crispness from Paul Douglas’ high hats and Winston Wright’s happy organs. Thist can only be made better with steeping delay and winding up back in the gorgeous rhythm of dub. Other not to be missed tracks include: “Dub Star” and “Red Moon”. A nice release from Pressure Sounds to ensure you feel the riddams of reggae…


We Are Getting Bad: The Sound of Phase One [coll] – [Phase One]

surferrosa   11/15/2011   12-inch, Reggae

This is a collection of music off the UK record label Phase One. A variety of classic late 70s/early 80s Reggae. The record contains lots of echo, mostly vocal tracks, and a few great instrumentals (marked). All the tracks are good, there is a nice touch of female vocals on B4, and all the tracks on side B are relatively long (over 5:30) Both sides are fully spin-worthy. -Surfer Rosa

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