Sylvan White “Africans Unite” w/version

The criminally neglected roots singer Sylvan White, who recorded a number of singles in the late ’70s and early ’80s for the Freedom Sound and Cornerstone labels, is bittersweet to listen to.  Sweet because the songs are so consistently good, and bitter because White recorded so little and so little of what he did record is commercially available. The rhythm track here is provided by the Soul Syndicate and mixed at King Tubby’s studio.  White’s voice and his emotional delivery are flawless.  This tune is top ranking.

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Bob Marley & the Wailers, Rehearsal, Tuff Gong Studios, 1980 (Re-Up!)

I just re-upped this great rehearsal tape so make sure to grab it while you can!  Bob Marley and the Wailers rehearsal at Tuff Gong studios, May 1, 1980.

The video footage from this rehearsal was recorded by our good friend Dermot Hussey for a documentary program he was working on.

 

Top of the Pops: Clint Eastwood & General Saint “Stop That Train”

Clint Eastwood & General Saint were a reggae deejay duo of the early 1980s, consisting of Clint Eastwood (born Robert Anthony Brammer) and General Saint (born Winston Hislop). Noted for putting on lively, theatrical and humorous performances, Eastwood and Saint came to be known as a novelty act in Jamaica.

Jamaican Eastwood was already an established solo deejay with a string of albums behind him when he teamed up with British deejay Saint, their first release being “Tribute to General Echo”, about the recently killed slack deejay. They hit the UK Singles Chart with their version of “Last Plane (One Way Ticket)” in 1984. Both of the duo’s studio albums made the Top 5 of the UK Independent Chart.  Saint went on to a solo career, releasing singles such as “Save The Last Dance For Me” and “Oh Carol” (both featuring Don Campbell). One of the duo’s live performances was recorded by the BBC for their In Concert programme, and this was later released as an album.

 

 

BoJangles/Mighty Two “Prophesy Reveal”/”Fullfillment” (Errol T) 1977

1977, the that the two sevens clash.  This rare 7″ contains the DJ version to Culture’s “Two Sevens Clash,” a reference to the prophecies of Marcus Mosiah Garvey.  On the flip side is the phenomenal version titled “Fulfillment,” produced by the Mighty Two, Joel Gibson (AKA Joe Gibbs) and Errol Thompson.  The wicked 7″ is pressed to the Errol T label.

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I-Roy “Magnificent 7″ / “Leggo Beast” (Foundation DJ track)

Many thanks to our good friend Doctor Dread for donating this classic!

I-Roy is a foundation DJ, pure and simple.  One thing to note here on the A-side titled “Magnificent 7″ is the now-classic reasoning at 3:10 between I-Roy and the “likkle yute”  (no doubt a reference to Big Youth).  The yute say “Man have you seen the movie Screaming Target yet?”

Now, Screaming Target was an Oliver Reed cult classic film released in 1972.  It just so happens that it is also the title of Big Youth’s debut album, released the same year.  I-Roy slyly replies “Yes….Screaming Target (sarcasm)….Hear I-man, You wan see this one it name Magnificent 7, with van Cleefe?”

I-Roy references the 1972 film The Magnificent Seven Ride starring Lee Van Cleef as Chris Adams, a role based on Yul Brynner’s performance in the famous 1960 western The Magnificent Seven.

I-Roy continues “You haffe see dis one ya.  This one A DEADLY me a tell you mon!”  I-Roy clearly establishing the forthcoming track as superior to anything done by Big Youth on Screaming Target, and also asserting that his skills are “deadly” and not to be trifled with by the (Big) youth.”

This is battling at it’s finest.  I-Roy almost gentlemanly while taking a shot at Big Youth.  This is why the DJs are so vital to the evolution of the sound.  Constantly attempting to better the other through the use of deadly verbal weapons.  PURE GENIUS was I-ROY, GENIUS….

My mind starts to wander what it would have been like to watch I-Roy listening to Big Youth’s Screaming Target album for the very first time.  Probably ran down to the local record shop and had the shop owner throw it on the player.  I-Roy listening intently, devouring every word, with a furrowed brow.  Quiet though, very quiet – not a word.  Just a thought from I-Roy – ‘the shit is changing, the shit is changing….’

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Murderous I-Roy mix soon come.

Dennis Brown “Songs My Mother Used To Sing” (Aquarius)

It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite Dennis Brown tune, but this one might be it.  This mix especially.  Dennis sings this wonderful tune over a classic Herman Lin Choy-produced riddim from Aquarius.  Later versions of the tune were more slickly produced, with the amplified vocal laid over the Lin Choy riddim.  Sounds great still, but the original vibe is lost.  Listen to how Brown’s vocal just blends with the riddim, never overpowering it.  Perfect meld of vocal and riddim here as if the vocal were just another instrument in the mix.

The highlight of the tune is the lyric though.  My favorite from Brown:

“I remember one rainy day on March,
My poor ma, she sent me out to get some starch,
I was the only one that she could depend on,
So I had to shop and cook and clean all day long,
Without a father, only the one that’s deep within”

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Horace Andy “Musical Episode” Extended Mix (Wackies)

A great Horace Andy cut featured on what is, in my opinion, the finest produced 12″ that Wackies ever pressed, the Sugar Minott “Wicked Ah Go Feel It” 12″.  By the sound quality here you might assume that this is a re-press copy.  However, this is from a flawless original copy that I got from the great folks at Deadly Dragon Sound in NYC! This record was treated like gold, and you can definitely hear it.  My favorite Horace Andy cut from his years with Wackies.

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The Viceroys w/ Earl “Chinna” Smith – ‘Inn De Yard’

Astounding set from the mighty Viceroys live and unplugged in Earl “Chinna” Smith’s backyard.  Another unique and truly original release in the “Inna De Yard” series by French label MakaSound.  High-quality vinyl transfer, the way you like it, only at MIDNIGHT RAVER.

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01 – Heart Made of Stone
02 – Ya Ho
03 – Mission Impossible (not included)
04 – I Guarantee My Love
05 – So Many Problems
06 – Love Jah
07 – Last Night
08 – Slogan on the Wall
09 – Shadrach, Meshach And Abendego
10 – Rising In the Strength of Jah

Recorded in Chinna’s yard, Kingston 10, November 2005, by Clive “Dub King” Geffrey & Earl Smith Jnr.
Produced & arranged by Earl “Chinna” Smith & The Viceroys.

Musicians : All guitars : Earl Smith, Bo-Pee, Sangie Davis, Wesley Tinglin (acoustic)
Keyboards : Robbie Lynn, Lloyd Palmer
Percussions : Jah Youth, Kiddus I, Red, Burchel, Kush McAnuff, Ras Appa, Alphonso Craig
Drums : Alphonso Craig, Kush McAnuff

Little John “What You Want To Be” (Rusty International) 12″ vinyl

Here we have a classic dancehall killer from Little John.  “What You Want To Be” was repressed to 12″ heavy vinyl by the Rusty International label.  Along with the single is a deejay track by Billy Boyo titled “Disc Jockey” (What you want to be? A disc jockey!).  I cannot say enough about this 12″.  It is an absolutely mad, mad tune that makes me go out of my mind every time I put it on.  Little John freestyling over a crippling Roots Radics riddim.  In fact, this riddim may be the hardest and sickest ever laid to wax by the Roots Radics.  It is a virtual “wall of sound” the likes of which I have never really heard from any other outfit.  Like I said, crippling.  I call this the HEADBANGA!

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