Tracks of the Week

Cornell Campbell feat. Ranking Dread – Bandulu (Hard Times)

BanduluEssentially two songs paired together upon the “Late Night Blues” riddim – a powerful yet rarely versioned bass-driven cut inspired by “Shine Eye Gal” from Black Uhuru – this is a rather unique extended mix from the discerning duo of Bunny Lee (producer) and The Scientist (engineer).

There’s a clear causal relationship here, with “Bandulu” covering the temptations created by crushing poverty, while “Hard Times” addresses the underlying situation that can so easily create a culture of crime. (more…)

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Earl 16 – Vampires

Earl 16 - VampiresBless Burning Sound Records 12″

I can’t say enough about the productions that come out of the A-Lone Ark Muzik studio. Roberto Sanchez, comandante in charge of this studio, keeps pearling out heavy weight roots business, and this one from 2012 is my Track of the Week.

Jamaican born Earl 16, whose voice and lyrics have remained pure over five decades now, comes with a fresh take on Devon Iron’s “Ketch Vampire” single, originally cut for the original dub master Lee Perry way back in the mid 70s. Earl’s voice continues to cut through with melodically brilliance, singing this militant message over Sanchez’s heavy weight analog built riddim which drops incredibly heavy on a proper sound system or hi-fi. (more…)

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Protoje – Kingston Be Wise

Kingston Be WiseTune of week? Possibly my tune of the year. Released in 2012, I first heard this gem in a David Rodigan set in London and thought I need that on seven inch. It’s all killer no filler. (more…)

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The Soulites – Love Is The Song

Love Is The SongMy tune of the week is one of my tunes of all time!  I came across this beauty on one of my record shopping treks. It did not have an artist or title credit, but it was on the Gemini label. I thought it was the label associated with the legendary dancehall sound of the eighties, even though it looked earlier than a dancehall tune, but I took a chance on buying it. And it turned out it was not a dancehall tune at all, but a glorious 70s sweet roots tune. (more…)

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The Prospectors – Glory For I / The Brentford Rockers – Glory Dub

Glory For I(Bongo Man 7)
 
During my heavy collecting days, I always got a great deal of pleasure from picking up the lesser-known Studio One tunes. It seems strange to me that with all these Studio One/Coxsone compilations coming out, there are a number of superb mid-70s roots numbers that appear to be under the radar, so to speak. (more…)

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Reddman UK – Time

Reddman UKYou may or not have heard of Reddman UK. That’s Reddman with two d’s and an added UK on the end, not to be confused with the other one who hangs about with Method Man. And you may or may not have heard Popcaan’s ‘Everything Nice’.

The former I actually know little about. What I do know is that he is a North Londoner and spends a lot of time with Gappy Ranks whose label, Hot Coffee Music, he is also signed to. I have heard bits and pieces from Reddman over the years and I have to say I have liked it all. The guy has a pretty unique voice, an almost crossover, deep falsetto style that wouldn’t be out of place on a hip-hop hook. (more…)

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Kentucky – Only The Poorman Feel It

Kentucky - Only the Poor Man Feel ItInstantly upbeat and conscious, this rather rare digital reggae 12″ (which Deadly Dragon Sound System recently sold out of at US$150) is a scorching condemnation of Jamaican socioeconomics. Calling on the listener to ‘take a walk’ and ‘watch the big man sit up on top, lookin’ at we the poor people on the flat,’ Kentucky doesn’t romanticize the repetitive realities of Kingston’s yards. (more…)

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Addis Pablo – Imperial Melody

Imperial Crown riddimAddis is the son of the legendary Augustus Pablo, and here he is following in his father’s footsteps and continuing the ‘Pablo’ legacy on a heavy roots riddim, built by producer Frenchie for his Maximum Sounds imprint. (more…)

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