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Music Reviews

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…

-Dianthus-

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

King Tubby – “Psalm of The Time Dub” – [Roots Records]

surferrosa   11/15/2011   12-inch, Reggae

King Tubby delivers some solid Dub, just as you might expect. Super chill, ,classic Dub, instrumental for the most part, tracks with vocals contain a minimal amount. This music is often simplistic, consisting of just drums and a bass line (B5, B6, many others). This record is covered in tape delay, revery drums and tight bass lines. You can’t go wrong with any track, they are all great. -Surfer Rosa

Augustus Pablo / Jr. Delgado – “Showcase” – [Rockers International]

surferrosa   11/8/2011   12-inch, Reggae

A collaboration between Augustus Pablo and vocalist Jr. Delgado. The music here is smooth and upbeat with an easy listening feel. Tracks marked at Dub seem to be instrumental versions of the previous song. There is a tasteful touch of horns here and some nice lead guitar work. Pablo seems to be supplying electric piano sounds more so than those of the melodica, ( which is kind of a shame if you ask me… the electric piano sounds are a bit cheesy for my taste, bu7t you can gage the cheese factor yourself). This is some pleasant approachable, straight forward reggae, but nothing profound which stands out from the rest of the reggae universe. Sounds like a happy little 90s reggae beach party. – Surfer Rosa

Riley, Winston – “Meditation Dub Vol 3” – [Techniques Records]

surferrosa   11/8/2011   12-inch, Reggae

This record comes with listening instructions located on the front of?? this sleeve. So make not and kick back , because this here is some super chill, stoney-ass dub. Side A?? contains lots of funny synthesized beeps and boops which are?? a bit tacky in the best way possible. At times sounds like Robo-Dub. Side B is guitar/string heavy with more groove, it jams and occasionally rocks a bit too. There are solid bass lines and a continuous steady beat all over this record. At times it seems that the vinyl is a bit scratched and warped, which only makes this listen stonier and ever so delightful. Take a massive bong rip and enjoy. -Surfer Rosa

Gould, David Solid Vs Laswell, Bill – “Dub of The Passover” – [Tzadik]

surferrosa   11/8/2011   CD, Reggae

Welcome to the Passover seder in the house of dub! This cd contains Bill Laswell’s dubbed out translations of traditional Passover songs typically sung at the seder table longside the readaing of he Agada (sotry of Passover). Each song correlates to a specific event or concept connected to the story. The music here is executed in your favorite dub fashion. Plenty of reverb, echoed out drums, a bit of keys, lots of horns, an occasional guitar lick or voal sample and a touch of synthesized sound. I even heard some Heberw on trakcs 10, 11 & 12! This album is quite delightful and even a bit nostalgic for Jews like me. Lechaim! -Surfer Rosa

Locks, Fred and The Creation Steppers – “Love and Only Love” – [Tribes Man Records]

Grizzly Adam   11/6/2011   12-inch, Reggae

Given hi-hat, will make rockers style, disco reggae. Great sounds, measures up to the King Tubby standard. I think of Creation Rockers even though this is Creation Steppers. Somewhat Congos, somewhat Johnny Clarke somewhat Meditations, and some classic heavy Blood and Fire style riddims. The title track is almost Black Uhurus Guess Whos Coming To Dinner. Give Jah Your Heart and Soul is almost Rock Steady. Homeward Bound is good for coming in hot. Birdie effects on A1 and B4.
-eveningly infinitely wipes scrub sonny atoms grizzly adam

Boothe, Ken – “Let’s Get It On” – [Trojan Records]

Grizzly Adam   11/6/2011   12-inch, Reggae

Welcome to the world where Let’s get it on is Let’s get it on.
A time before some of us were born, along with their
antiquated concerns, those that in a way are hard to take
seriously, or innocently, such as the tune Playground of
my mind. Contemporary to early Bob Marley, and where
Jimmy Cliff and Ken Boothe are not that far off from each
other. There is the lovers lament song, here it’s come back
baby, featuring piano, but not as good as the nice few notes
you can hear on African lady, which howls like Otis Redding,
and follows bass first such as when the bass shifts the tune
over to a section of anticipation of the reintroduction of the
chorus. The bass lines carry the classic soul arrangements,
but it is the two guitars that give it that good reggae chik a
chik a. Leaving me has it’s primary and backup singers. That’s
the way nature planned it is oldies style reggae, a nice
Impressions feel good carry on, with it’s sliding rhythm,
side to side dancing, or rocking side to side, and in both parts
is the best on this album. Not to say Boothe can only carry
the soul forward, some of these have a genuine Congos
deepness to them. Anterior to the precursor of Is it because I’m
black is one of these, and is still the teary tune it is known
for. On Whole world’s down on me, i can almost imagine
Cocoa Tea on this one. And is that Santana on down by the
river? All in all this makes for an easy “into”, even dum dum
works. Play dum dum.
-eveningly infinitely wipes scrub sonny atoms grizzly adam

Midnite – “Intense Pressure” – [Rastafaria – Roots, Dub & Culture]

Grizzly Adam   10/29/2011   CD, Reggae

Given to dank instrumental melody, with word thereafter attached to it, Midnite are also extremely productive. This is from 2003 and contains more instrumentals than the usual Midnite album. How they remember which song is which on their relentless touring is beyond me. There is no tediousness or saturation except into dankness. Many musical metaphors apply, stars in the sky, diamonds on your shoes, fresh vision, warning sounds. These are not studio dubbers, this is a real band. The vocals are given slowly, paced to the syncopations of the song. To this I ask “what’s going round?”. I am reminded of Wibbly Wobbly, and recommend Spliff Skankin close Jah’s Music with track six. Tracks 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9 all have lyric.
-eveningly infinitely wipes scrub sonny atoms grizzly adam

Gentleman – “Trodin On” – [Four Music]

Grizzly Adam   10/29/2011   12-inch, Reggae

Earlier stuff (’99) dancehall love, cue efx (A1) lovers dancehall slow funk / hip hop, follow it with the rap original (A2) play of horn-frontal dancehall with digi-squeak (A3) perdure, know thy-self (A4) like capleton with less idiosyncrasy (B1) advancing the dancehall rhythm, bass throbs, and spacy synth wobbles (B2) augustus pablo ish, flute, and rock ish gtr., together in a slow club dub, speaking of dangers, warnings, the poor state of politics in all (B3) semi-cover of buju banton “who have it” & play it!, word (B4) chill hip hop, run some of those singles, smif n wessun (C1) jah cure style (C2) shaggy style for a serious song (C3) ward 21 style, ele’s creeper, good riddim find them! (C4) real rap reggae (D1) luciano vibe (D2) ganja tune, get carried away (D3) urban g-rap (D4)
-eveningly infinitely wipes scrub sonny atoms grizzly adam
Language: D1

Gentleman – “Confidence” – [Four Music]

Grizzly Adam   10/29/2011   12-inch, Reggae

“no hold us down”, he no hold back, with Anthony B they bun gunman,
says youths look, see reality, and talk up held beliefs of spiritual elevation
and the right way. criticism of the world living in violence (superior). and “no
time like now” is musically confused. special. tears for mama, one love, jah
bless. “for the children” to Sizzla “just one of those days”.
-eveningly infinitely wipes scrub sonny atoms grizzly adam

Rebel, Tony – “If Jah” – [Vp Records]

Grizzly Adam   10/29/2011   12-inch, Reggae

Love Fountain to So Much Trouble In The World.
Africa to Macka B Hold Onto Your Culture, on one drop.
Not joyous but smart and heart wrenching (A1). Good
digital touches. “Hide your joy”, sad.
-eveningly infinitely wipes scrub sonny atoms grizzly adam

Cocoa Tea – “Biological Warfare” – [Minor 7 Flat 5]

Grizzly Adam   10/29/2011   12-inch, Reggae

Good at the reggae inflections. Great at tongue twisters. From Jamaica, in the studio with Cocoa Tea. Beachy (A5) to serious (A2) to songs for the younger (A4 like Ele doing Sesame Street)
“War vibes I’m smelling. Freedom of speech but no safety for a split on the beach. War dust collects, winds blowing, war dust I’m smelling”, “Bun down Enron, Bun down oppressive power.”
-eveningly infinitely wipes scrub sonny atoms grizzly adam