Here is an outstanding 2006 performance by Damian Marley at one of the premiere music festivals in the U.S. Marley was hot on the heels of the Welcome To Jamrock LP, which would make him an international superstar.
Produced by Dennis Brown and mixed by a young Prince Jammy at King Tubby’s studio in 1977, 20th CENTURY DEBWISE, featuring Dennis Emmanuel Brown’s Music Players, is an unparalleled adventure in dub and an interesting look at Prince Jammy’s emerging talent and style. An astonishing listen…
You may notice the opening dub version as I did a post about this crucial Dennis Brown tune last week…“3 Meals A Day.”
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.
From the ultra-obscure ‘Time To Remember’ album, released on the Prophet Records label in 1982, we have a sound called “Jah Mercies.” The tune is a remixed version of Yabby You’s “Jah Over I” from the Prophecy album.
Here is a great 7″ from our good friend Steve Barrow’s Blood & Fire label. Their last release was an album featuring our favorite reggae artists singing or toasting over Lee “Scratch” Perry’s legendary “Fisherman” riddim, made famous by The Congos’ “Row Fisherman Row” off the ‘Heart Of The Congos’ album. This 7″ features Luciano blessing the riddim with his vocal and U-Roy toasting the riddim on the flip side.
Big up emch of Subatomic Sound System for always supporting roots foundation music. On tour with Lee “Scratch” Perry for the past 2 years, I met emch here in DC when they came to town last year. He has been a big supporter of MR and we are big supporters of what he is doing, making amazing and unique music and remixing classic foundation tunes with a futuristic dubstep vibe.
Upon it’s second release in 2001 on the Rastafaria label (it was originally released in Namibia, Africa in December 1997), reggae critics and album reviewers the world over recognized this album as one of the best reggae albums ever made. The popular and credible Reggae Reviews web site in giving it “5 heads” said this of Unpolished:
“Midnite’s first 3 albums form a triumvirate as impressive as any trio of albums in the history of reggae, and the group has single-handedly set a bold new standard for modern roots.”
The debut album, recorded at East Coast Flava in Washington, DC on a 2-track recorder and using no mixer, equalization, overdubs, effects (the drums weren’t even mic’d!), is a stunning display of roots and culture inna whole new style.
Worlds Music called it “quite possibly the greatest reggae album ever recorded.” Like most, my introduction to Midnite’s sound came through ‘Rule The Time’ their first wide release in 2000. While I liked it very much, I did start to think of it as contrived, even a novelty, after listening for a while. 13 years later, and with a much better ear for what is good reggae music, I now appreciate these reviews and I have come to the conclusion that while Unpolished is not the greatest reggae album ever made, it is probably the best roots reggae album in 15 years. Hear for yourself…
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.
Here I present to you one of the great voices of reggae, and a dear friend to this blog. Garth Dennis’ “Slow Coach”/”Slow Coach Rock,” on which Dennis is backed by The Wailers Band, was first released on the Andy’s label, probably in 1974. If you’ve never heard this tune, you’re in for a real treat. If you’re familiar with it, sit back and enjoy it one more time. It is spectacular.