Tracks of the Week

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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Pupajim – Nobody Can Stop We

Jahtarian Dubbers Vol. 4(Dub at the Pub dubplate)
Jahtarian Dubbers Vol. 4

This fresh release comes on the fourth installment of the much desired Dubbers compilations, and 10-year anniversary of the Jahtari label. (more…)

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Noel ‘Zoot’ Simms – See Them A Come

See Them A ComeStudio One 7″
‘See Them A Come’ was released on Studio One 7″ in 1967, but also featured on the Soul Jazz Records ‘Studio One Rude Boy’ compilation.
Noel Simms was born in 1935 in Kingston and attended the Apha Boys School. His career as a vocalist began singing as a duo with his school friend Bunny Robinson. They began making RnB acetates for sound systems in the 1950′s, after winning numerous talent shows and developing a huge following. From there they recorded for the likes of Coxsone Dodd and Prince Buster. (more…)

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Maxi Priest – Every Little Thing

Every Little ThingThe minute I heard this tune, it made my hair stand on end!  Its sound took me back to a time where Rub-a-Dub and Lovers Rock ruled supreme. What appealed to me was its feel, which is a fusion of these two styles of reggae. We already know Maxi is well versed in making songs that encompass these elements. (more…)

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The Tamlins – Baltimore

baltimoreTaking Randy Newman’s original, The Tamlins – arguably most famous as the backing vocalists for 70s touring artists including Jimmy Cliff, John Holt, and Peter Tosh – turn the sparse melodic track “Baltimore” into something far more funky and groove-driven. Opening with a guitar that approaches the skank later found in Ini Kamoze’s “World A Reggae,” it is the foreboding keys and the soulful vocals that combine to elevate this far beyond an average late 70s reggae tune.  (more…)

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Delroy Williams – This Love

This Love(Message 7″)
The best place to start, as a wise man probably said, is at the start! So this time my Track of the Week will be for the first reggae 7″ I brought.
I grew up on the outskirts of London and had become interested in the thriving sound system explosion of the 90s. Culture Promotions put on regular Jah Shaka all-nighters at The Rocket on Holloway Road, as well as their regular Thursday night Dub Club. Every week saw a different sound. And as you reached the top of the stairs at The Dome (Tuffnell Park), there was a record stall. I had quite a few LPs by that time but had not yet started on the 7′s. (more…)

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Donette Forte – Rhythm of Resistance

Rhythm of ResistanceJah Works 12″ (1991)

My track of the week, Rhythm of Resistance by Donette Forte, comes from UK Roots stable, the mighty Jah Works.

I first heard this tune several years ago, on a Kiss FM pirate radio broadcast of a Nick Manasseh show from 1992. Manasseh played a handful of heavy dubpate material from that time, such as Martin Campbell’s ‘Got to Pray’ (also from Jah Works and worth checking). This mix has been on heavy rotation for years as it is loaded with top tracks, but it was Donette’s ‘Rhythm of Resistance’ which resonated most with me. (more…)

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