I received this one in the mail yesterday. It was advertised as having a different mix than the album version. Very well known and crucial tune from the ‘One Blood’ album. And yes, this one sounds like a different song altogether.
Israel Vibration “Pretty Woman” (Apple Gabriel) RAS 7″ Vinyl (This is the very last single that Apple recorded with Israel Vibration. Jim Fox told me that it was a particularly difficult song to record because of the several tempo changes.
Hugh Mundell ”Jah Fire Will Be Burning”/”Version” 7″ Vinyl (Fatman). Revelation-style doom, gloom, and dread! One of Mundell’s masterpieces.
Junior Reid “Shack-A-Lack” (Jammys) Original Press 7″ Vinyl. One of Reid’s most well-known records. Issued on the Jammy’s label. Pure fyah over the “World-A-Reggae” riddim, the very same riddim featured in Damian Marley’s “Welcome to Jamrock”.”
Black Uhuru ”Wood For My Fire” / “Version” 7 inch (24.96). Rare Black Uhuru tune issued on the DEB (Dennis Emmanuel Brown) label out of the UK.
Dennis Brown “My Time” / “Version” (Observer) [24.96-FLAC]. Nothing stands out quite like an Observer label.
“Java” (Impact) Orfiginal Press 1971. The original issued by Clive Chin on the Impact label with Augustus Pablo’s name misspelled as “Agustus.”
2005′s ‘African Roots’ album, produced by a relative unknown named Ryan Moore and his Twilight Circus Sound System saw Michael Rose return to a vibe and riddim we haven’t heard since his departure in 1984 from “the hardest band in yard,” Black Uhuru. Between 2005 and 2007, Twilight Circus released two studio albums featuring the vocals of Rose (‘African Roots,’ ‘Warrior’), followed by two brutal dub albums. Now a seasoned producer and multi-instrumentalist, Ryan Moore is the go-to riddim king for many of the greats of yesterday and today. Artists like Sly and Robbie, Dean Fraser, Luciano, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru ) Big Youth, Mikey General, Skully Simms, Vin Gordon (Bob Marley), Earl “Chinna” Smith (Bob Marley), Eddie ‘Tan Tan’ Thornton ( Aswad), Buttons Tenyue /Matics Horns (UB40), Ansel Collins, Style Scott (Dub Syndicate), Bobby Ellis ( Studio One), Admiral Tibet, Jah Stitch, Sugar Minott, Queen Ifrica, Lutan Fyah, Fred Locks, Gregory Isaacs, Mafia & Fluxy, Cevin Key ( Skinny Puppy), and DJ Spooky have all consulted Moore when they needed the heaviest sound around. While many producers are relying on the economy and availability of digital programming, Moore bets on the use of live instruments and vintage recording equipment…and he wins every time.
I have known Moore and appreciated his work for some time now, and it was just great that he agreed to sit down for an interview. And what an interview it is!
So when did you first hear reggae? Did it get at you immediately or did it take some time and maturing to appreciate it?
“I’d heard reggae, rock steady and other Jamaican music going back to the 70′s, but with dub it really was an almost cliché moment on ‘first contact’ in 1981 where the clouds parted and a voice drenched in reverb said ‘Ryan – this is your music!’. Time literally stood still!”
So tell us a little bit about your background. You grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. I know in the US, the only way you get exposed to reggae as a kid growing up is that somebody you know has a Marley or Tosh or Spear album. We just didn’t hear it on the radio. I’m sure things in the Great White North are a little different that way.
“Canada is similar to the UK in that there was immigration from former British colonies, so that in the big cities you had an influx of people from the West Indies, including Jamaica. There’s a big Jamaican population in Toronto, similar to the case of London or Brooklyn. Up in Vancouver there were DJ’s operating on college and community radio who played reggae music on specialist shows, in particular one key figure, George Barrett (cousin of the famous Barrett brothers from Bob Marley & The Wailers), who has broadcasted locally since the mid-70′s. In fact, the Rosetta Stone of dub for me was a show of his which I taped on cassette & used to broadcast from my boombox while skateboarding around town. Those were the days!
In my case we had Jamaican neighbours in the 70′s who’d arrived direct from Kingston and I befriended their son. Undoubtedly the time spent over there being exposed to Jamaican culture and rock steady sounds primed me for a future in reggae music!
The first actual reggae album I ever got was Bob Marley ‘Natty Dread’, which was a present from some friends of my folks. I don’t think it left the turntable for probably several months.”
This is one you’ve probably never heard. “Selassie On His White Horse” is the DJ version of Black Uhuru’s ”I Love King Selassie” which features John Steele deejaying over the tuff riddim. Nice vinyl single and very rare…
It is fitting to share this rare gem now, considering we just posted the interview with Doctor Dread yesterday. Michael Rose left Black Uhuru in 1984 and the group was promptly dropped by Island Records just one year after winning the first ever reggae Grammy Award for ‘Anthem.’ Rose was promptly replaced by his good friend and fellow Waterhouse native Junior Reid. Doctor Dread, a longtime fan of the group, goes to NYC to ink the deal with Duckie Simpson’s lawyer and Black Uhuru, now a RAS Records act, get to work on the ‘Brutal’ album. ‘Brutal,’ produced by Doctor Dread, Black Uhuru, Steven Stanley, and Arthur Baker, is recorded by Steven Stanley at Music Mountain in Jamaica. The album is mixed by Jim Fox in Washington, DC, Arthur Baker in NYC (Great Train Robbery), and Steven Stanley back at Music Mountain in Jamaica. The album is released in 1986 and receives a Grammy nod, along with the ‘Brutal Dub’ album. Interesting note: The album contains the heavy, roots laden track “Dread In The Mountain,” which is voiced by Junior Reid. This same tune was a minor nhit for Reid in Jamaica several years earlier under the name “Chanting.”
So it’s 1985, the group has just signed with RAS, and they have not yet worked out the songs that will comprise the ‘Brutal’ album. This set of circumstances makes for a one-of-a-kind Black Uhuru show in Philadelphia, 1985. The show opens with Reid performing two of his solo hits “Shack A Lack” and “Original Foreign Mind” (mislabeled as “Worry Dem” in the archived setlist). The remainder of the show is comprised of songs from earlier Black Uhuru albums.
So here is a show that catches Black Uhuru in transition. Although the show is not labeled with respect to the date or venue, it occurred on August 13, 1985 at the Chestnut Theatre It is a true rarity because it showcases the talents of both Junior Reid and Puma Jones (who passed away in 1990). Great sound quality too for an audience recording.
1. Black Uhuru - Shack’a Lak Rock 2. Black Uhuru – Original Foreign Mind 3. Black Uhuru – What is Life? 4. Black Uhuru - Black Uhuru Anthem 5. Black Uhuru – Shine Eye Girl 6. Black Uhuru – Plastic Smile 7. Black Uhuru - General Penetentiary 8. Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? 9. Black Uhuru – Emotional Slaughter