BULLWACKIES ALL STARS
FREE FOR ALL
Out originally on the Aires label, in a plain, stencilled sleeve, the title track of this set appeared on Pressure Sounds' Little Roy compilation "Packin' House" a few years ago, and still greets the visitor to the label's website. R ecorded at Randy's, and originally on The Heptones' Hepic label, it features Family Man Barrrett on keyboards, and there are three versions here including the dub of the deejay cut, Meditation Dub The explanation is that these rhythms originate from sessions run by Munchie Jackson, the mysterious owner of the Tafari label, home to Little Roy's classic early roots titles, and as such one of the most sought after of all Bullwackie's output from the early 80's. The real bonus is a trumpet dub on Little Roy's best known single "Tribal War", engineered by Scratch.
JENNIFER LARA / JACKIE MITTO & SOUND DIMENSION
WOMAN OF THE GHETTO / SIDE WALK DOCTOR VERSION
DUB STORE SPECIAL 7"
Naoki Ienaga's Dub Store Records in Tokyo is the home in the East for Studio One and to celebrate the partnership they released two 'specials' on 7" vinyl by the late, and greatly underrated, Jennifer Lara. She joined Studio One in 1969 after leaving school and although her single solo album for the label was Studio One Presents she was also featured on a number of the label's compilations and back-up vocalist for the Ethiopians, Dennis Brown, Freddy McGregor and the Jays. This cover of the Marlena Shaw tune, perhaps better known from the versions by Hortense Ellis or Phyllis Dillon, but Jennifer makes it her own and the bonus is the flip with Jackie Mittoo's deep organ cut of the rhythm.
LV Feat. ERROL BELLOT / DANDELION
GLOBETROTTING / TAKEOVER
L.V. are another bunch of South London boys lost in bass and just as the legions of the massing dubstep army are heading towards techno fusions Kode9 allows them to take Hyperdub in the opposite direction. This is soundbwoy boost for Free King Sounds on a slip sliding shuffle beat building only marginally through the mix with a minimal set of restrained dub efx bouncing off below ex-Unity Sounds man Errol Bellot's double tracked vocal that has a strangely floating acapella feel. Equally rootical runnings on the flip this time with a skeletal chant from Dandelion, vocalist with Free King Sound, and a warm live up close feel to the mix which, just when there's some chasmic drop expected after the edgy bass synth, it refuses to materialise but instead a twisting bass line traces the vocal with increased doses of delay added as the abstraction is increased, this is wicked modern roots.
PROVERBS EXTRACTIONS / VERSION
HOUSE OF MOSES 7"
1981 g Chung Pave the Way
In the minds of most roots reggae fans Pablo Moses has spent the majority of his career in the shadow of his astonishing debut album, 1975's "Revolutionary Dream". It did not make the singer any money but he went on to work consistently over the following years, primarily with producer Geoffrey Chung.
This newly revived single first appeared in 1981 as the opener for the "Pave The Way" album, reissued a couple of years ago – although this sounds like a rougher version, a gluey slo-mo half-stepper with the bass mixed up front on the version and the vocal zig zagging through the mix, a total one-off, out of step with everything else happening at the time.
HARRY MUDIE MEETS KING TUBBY'S
IN DUB CONFERENCE VOLUME ONE
After last month's conjecture of an 'impossible to compile' "Best of King Tubby" set here comes another contribution. The first in the series of three, this collaboration with Harry Mudie, the man who introduced strings into reggae, contains that rare thing – a string quartet in dub. "Dub With A Difference" is a wonderfully inventive version of the Heptones' "Love Without Feeling" with overdubbed strings added at Chalk Farm Studios in London and the players credited as "the Englishmen"; its as startlingly a beautiful thing as anything created by the Dubmaster with strident opening organ phrase and militant horns giving way to the string melody as violins alternate with more dramatic viola and cellos on top of drum, bass and triangles. Contrasting starkly with the album closer, as cheesy as Harry got, "Strings Dub In Rema". The album is remastered, essential and sounds crisp as a ball.
NATIVE/LITTLE MADNESS WITH LEE PERRY
ROCKSTONE (NATIVE'S ADVENTURES WITH LEE PERRY AT THE BLACK ARK LATE SEPTEMBER 1977)
PRESSURE SOUNDS CD/LP
Introduced by Upsetter bassist Boris Gardner, Wayne Jobson pitched his tunes to Lee Perry whilst he was in the studio with Robert Palmer. The week previously Paul and Lind McCartney had been at the Black Ark. Clearly it was a time when Scratch was in ascendance. Perry bought the spiel because he thought Jobson was an Arawak, he wasn't, but he clearly had the instinct to go to the man of the moment. However the music on this album was also recorded with various other producer including Errol Thompson at Joe Gibbs', Channel One with the Hookim brothers and with Jack Ruby and his house band The Black Disciples famed for their work with Burning Spear. "Rockstone", "Late September In May" and its version, plus "In A Strange Land", appearing on disc for the first time are all under the Perry spell and the strangest a set of tunes ever engineered at the Black Ark, betraying Jobson's unusual West Coast style songwriting pretensions and Scratch's perverse sense of adventure. Wayne Jobson, one time involved with the torrid Peter Tosh film 'Red X', is now a DJ in Los Angeles.
LEE PERRY & THE UPSETTERS
SUPER APE vs. RETURN OF THE SUPER APE
Perry's solo masterpiece, at the height of his Black Ark supremacy and the total reggae auteur, the album "Super Ape" was neither vocal nor dub, not DJ or instrumental, but arrived from a totally new dimension. Trojan redress all grievances by the issue of this 'alternate' or 'original Jamaican mix' of the album and at the same time body swerve litigation from Island. There are perhaps only a handful of people who might want to sit down and do the forensics, but suffice to say who cares; this album is a pure joy. If that weren't we also have the conjoined twin, "Return of the Super Ape", and although not as smart as its sonic sibling still carries tunes that confirm Perry's maverick instincts for bewildering all opposition. In there also, a genuine Perry solo vocal album, the long unavailable "Roast Fish and Cornbread", with enough tracks to guarantee any artist top rep: "Soul Fire", Curly Locks", "Free Up The Weed" and "Big Neck Police" – and this was the one Island rejected. Totally essential.
HEARTICAL BEHAVIOUR / ITAL FOOD
REDBUD RECORDS 7"/MP3
Southend DJ Richie Phoe has made the graduation from hip hop into reggae that is becoming a route more travelled for the aspiring young DJ/producer. This his first single after 10 years of bedroom doodling and it's out via US East Coast dub label redbud. "Heartical Behaviour" is a jump up dancer revving up like an outtake of Joe Gibbs' "African Dub Chapter 3" but then breaking down into a straight-up hard chugging dancer whereas the flip has shuffling percussion, a flute blowing smoke rings and distant dread chants straight from the hold of the Black Ark. Richie can be found on the decks in the Brighton area and on the odd occasion via the town's Juice FM.
TRIBULATION / TRIBULATION DUB
MY WHOLE WORLD / MY WHOLE WORLD VERSION
PRESSURE SOUNDS 7"
Up and coming in October this year is a Pressure Sounds Bim Sherman set compiled by the label's Pete Holdsworth long time friend of the singer during the latter half of this career spent in the UK. Prefacing that release are two of Bim's best-loved tunes both alternate versions not to be carried onto the album. Out first on Sun Dew in 1975 this is the Scorpio 1977 version of "Tribulation" and is mixed with Bim's voice more prominent than usual and the dub extends well beyond the timing on the vocal, mixed at Tubby's studio in 1977 it sounds like it could be an early Scientist with a trademark echoing test signal at the mix's opening. " My Whole World" was covered by the New Age Steppers with a typically off-kilter Ari Up vocal, this is the original version, this is the original version with a beautiful trombone tracing of the vocal and a dub on the flip which certainly is prime Tubby's and not in the hands of a disciple!
GENERAL DOGGIE & TENOR SAW
CHILL OUT, CHILL OUT
NIGHT LIFE POSSE 7"
Perhaps best known for the incomparable "Ring The Alarm" voiced over Winston Riley's "Stalag" rhythm for the Techniques label, along with Nitty Gritty Tenor Saw became of the key singers of the early digital era. Through the 80s his selection both songs and producers was astute, especially the time spent with Sugar Minott's Youthman Promotion set-up where he turned out "Lots Of Sign", "Pumpkin Belly", "Fever" and "Golden Hen" – still a big tune in today's dance. His duet with General Doggie on "Chill Out Chill Out", for Digital English recorded in Brooklyn in 1987 was to be his final call as he was killed by a speeding car in Houston, Texas in the same year. Also revived and on the street now is "Victory Train" the excellent single recorded with Freddie McGregor's Studio One Band.
CHUCK TURNER / PROFESSOR GRIZZLY
TRYING TO CONQUER I / FIGHT THE PROFESSOR / VERSION
BASIC REPLAY 12"
Originally a session drummer for hotel bands on Jamaica's north coast he began to sing with sound systems such as King Jammy's, Stereo Mar and Stereo One in the early eighties. Turner's first release on vinyl came in 1983, and then again in '85 for producer Top Ranking. King Jammy recorded him in 1987, producing Turner's first hit song "I Need You". "Them Trying To Conquer I" appeared around the same period for Crat Productions in NYC with Dave Kelly as engineer. Maybe on radio this came across as a competent, contemporary roots dancer – a little out of line with the then DeeJay vogue, but played out live on a sounds system this is an absolute monster, cut deep into the vinyl by the Rhythm & Sounds boys, the mix is unforgivably urgent with shrill synth stabs, Turner's sweet delivery grates against the lyric perfectly: "….blood and fire..ah, to all vampire! …". On the same rhythm Professor Grizzly turns in a standard self-referential piece but the version on the flip punches like a vintage hungry welterweight.
LIVE AS ONE
UNIVERSAL EGG CD/LP
Long gone are the days of Perch, Cod and Tench versus the world, this is Zion Train's ninth album and the first since 2002 since when the rest of the world seem to have come into line with both the 'band's' musical vision and also their world view – the main album insert is the Hiroshima Peace Declaration plus a frog and toad educational section. Sole (no pun intended) production duties now lay with Neil Perch in Cologne who is surrounded by all stripes of dub talent from across the continent; amongst those new UK YT sounds ruffer on top of roots, Dubdadda is coming across more confident and its great to see Tipper Irie around again, but it's the single track "Why" from Marlene Johnson that stands out – along with the dubstrumentals which strung together pick up where Dub Syndicate left off around ten years ago. Still leaders of the nu roots pack.