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Archive for the ‘Reggae’ Category

Carlton Jackson – History/Dub History (1977)

June 15, 2017 Leave a comment

Working my way through a Lee “Scratch”Perry boxset, I stumbled upon this fantastic slice of roots reggae from 1977. Carlton Jackson was not a prolific singer but, in just over 8 minutes, he earns his spot in the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!

My Rough Guide To Reggae waxes lyrical about this song thus:

 

Just as notable an Upsetter release from 1977 was one of the first 12″ singles to appear in Jamaica. The top side, Carlton Jackson’s “History”, perfectly fused one of Scratch’s most serious rhythms with a lyric that exemplified the word “conscious”. Beginning with an account of how he was sold as a slave in Africa to a European and taken in chains to the Caribbean. the singer tackles the different versions of history to which he has been exposed.

 

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Dave Barker and the Upsetters – Tight Spot (1970)

June 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Outstanding track produced by the always slightly unhinged Lee Perry!

One of many reggae tracks with a spaghetti western link. The spoken introduction is priceless and, on its own, elevates this tune to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!

So you come to mash uppa the town, huh?

Well you’re in a tight spot, amigo!

Minimalist guitar over an understated bassline with horns and organs weaving patterns to mess with your mind.

 

 

Vin Gordon – Riding For A Fall (early 1970s)

May 17, 2017 Leave a comment

I first heard this 30 minutes ago and it’s been on repeat play since then! And now it’s been elevated to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!

A quite stunning take on John Holt’s classic “Riding for a Fall” features Vin Gordon overlaying possibly the finest trombone playing I have ever heard (really!) on an already wonderful record.

Produced by Bunny Lee and appearing on another impeccable Pressure Sounds release Tape Rolling!

Perfect reggae!

Rhythm & Sound w/Shalom – We Been Troddin/Troddin (Version) (2002)

March 25, 2017 Leave a comment

The German pair, Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus have made some of the finest minimal and other techno of all time and their Rhythm & Sound moniker is just another outlet for their stellar talent. I’ve previous posted Maurizio (here) and Basic Channel (here) and the latter, of course, are so good they get to appear in the strapline to this blog (the highest of all praise).

With Rhythm & Sound, the focus is on dub and reggae more generally. This track is a throwback to the great reggae of the 70s with both a vocal version and then the dub – perfect! Shalom provides the vocals on this one.

The vocal and then the dub!

 

Jimmy Riley – Poor Immigrant (1982)

June 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Another song that just leapt out of the iPod as I took my daily “constitutional” this morning; this time around the nature reserve in Godmanchester.

Not, as some might anticipate, some carefully chosen social critique shedding some welcome light on the interminable Brexit debate currently limping to its much awaited conclusion next week. Instead, a classic slice of roots reggae originally released in 1982 and then re-released on the stupendous “Live It To Know It” compilation on the still essential Pressure Sounds record label.

Jimmy Riley died in March at the age of 62 – with this record, he leaves the world in a much better place than he found. If only it were longer!

King Stitt – Christmas Tree (1970)

December 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Almost certainly the best Christmas record you’ve never heard. The bass and guitar on this are difficult to better.

At this festive time of year, my main responsibilities in our house are twofold: firstly, keep well out of the way to avoid doing something wrong or unhelpful, and; secondly, to iron the Christmas tablecloth and napkins …

At the latter, I am stunningly good – no crease is firm enough to withstand a combination of my steam iron and that water spray type thing that you need to deploy in only the most exceptional circumstances. A quiet hush always falls on the family as I ceremonially unfurl this year’s masterpiece of ironing skill. (Fellow ironing aficionados will already be familiar with the XtremeIroning site which can be found here – well worth a look to see how glamorous ironing can get!)

However, betraying the urban legend that men can’t multi-task, I have also managed to combine some world-class ironing with listening to the Trojan Christmas Box Set .. in so doing, I turned up this outstanding slice of rocksteady from 1970. Even if it hadn’t been topical for today, this track would have merited an appearance on this blog.

King Stitt is an all-time favourite of mine, resist if you can his exhortation to:

 

Drink Wine, Feel Fine!!

 

Linval Thompson – Jah Jah Dreader Than Dread (Extended Mix) (1978)

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Working my way through a pile of Trojan Records Box Sets over the last few days, I stumbled upon this stone cold classic. Effectively the original and dub versions spliced together.

Six minutes of relentless roots reggae with unbelievable bass and guitar. Linval’s vocals just soar and perfection is attained. Impossible to play too loud unless your house has dodgy foundations.

I have the complete collection of Blood & Fire and Pressure Sounds CDs and there is not really a bad one among the 150+ releases ….. The 71 (I have 66!) Trojan Box Sets are a little less consistent but remain an absolute treasure trove of reggae gold and I’ve already posted a couple of tracks (both by Ronnie Davis) from other releases here and here.

Turn up loud.

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