Tracks of the Week

Prince Alla – Stone/Great Stone

Stone(Freedom Sounds 7″)

For this review I thought I would pick a ‘memory tune’. Not a rare like hens teeth tune, not a ‘next cut tune’ or a blank or rare label number, but a tune that any self respecting rootsman (or woman!) should own. Are you sitting comfortably, then I will begin!

I started collecting records and going to dances in the 90s and living on the outskirts of london meant I was in the privileged position of being able to see a lot of the big sounds. Aba Shanti, Conscious Sounds, Jah Warrior, Boomshakalaka (Disciples), Jah Observer, Mount Zion I, and Entebbe all played regularly. At the same time there was a new style of roots and dub being produced and played (90s style I always called it!). (more…)

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Bugle – Be Proud

BugleLet me start with saying, I love Bugle. He would quite easily be one of my favourite foundation artists. Since first hearing him on the Daseca-produced ‘Doh’, with Serani I was hooked on him. I will listen to riddims entirely based on the fact he has a version on it. (more…)

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Midnight Riders – Me A No Gunman

Midnight Riders - Me A No GunmanJimpys International Records
Year of Release: Unknown

A tune has been intriguing me for some time now, it’s called ‘Me A No Gunman’ on the B-side of a Jimpy’s International Records 12″, which features Yellowman on the A-side.

The lyrics form a tuff street anthem by Midnight Riders. It is a tune that has very little information available about it, all I could find was that it was recorded in Jamaica round the mid-80s by Errol ‘ET’ Thompson. It is a deadly discomix that is a classic example of the early-to-mid 80s roots and rub-a-dub period.  (more…)

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Misty In Roots – How Long Jah

Misty In Roots - How Long JahA potent piece of late 70s UK roots, “How Long Jah” is the reverse side of the first release from Misty In Roots’ own People Unite label, “See Them Come.” (more…)

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Joanna Law – Midnight Blue

Joanna Law - Midnight BlueIn the life and times of a record collector, you sometimes end up with these strange anomalies which have nothing to do with you looking for records, but that end up with you bagging a serious tune from out of the blue!

Recently, in what started off as a random conversation the wife was having with a friend about childcare, ended up with her coming home with some records! One of them was Midnight Blue by Joanna Law.

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Curtis Lynch Jr feat. Shola Ama, Big Fris & Stush – Let It Go

Necessary Mayhem - Let It GoThere is a lot of good, well-produced reggae around at the moment, and the reggae coming out of the U.K. is no exception.

Here we have a track produced by Curtis Lynch Jnr for his Necessary Mayhem label. Curtis has released nuff big tunes for nuff big artists, but what I like about him is the knack he has of taking the old-school and giving it a nu-school twist via his unique production technique. (more…)

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Popcaan – Only Jah Know

Popcaan - Only Jah KnowAndrae Jay Sutherland, better known by his stage name Popcaan, is a Jamaican dancehall artist currently signed to Mixpak Records. Poppy was also born in Portmore, Jamaica, like his one-time boss and mentor Vybz Kartel. Popcaan rose to fame under the tutelage of Kartel in 2007. It wasn’t until 2010 that Popcaan made his break through collaborating with the Worl’ Boss on ‘Clarks’. His first solo hit was on the New Zealand produced ‘Lost Angel’ riddim with ‘Only Man She Wants’.  (more…)

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Forest Man – Children Crying

Forest Man - Children Crying(Pisces 7”)

Underneath the massive body of well-known Black Ark/Lee Perry tunes, there are also a mass of lesser known peaches recorded at the infamous Black Ark. Usually these are found on smaller labels with artists who are not quite as well-known as say The Meditations, The Congos, and Max Romeo. (more…)

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Howie Smart & Daddy Soujie – Sweet Reggae Music

Howie Smart - Sweet Reggae MusicBlack Diamond 12″ (1985)

One of many mid-1980’s scorchers out of Canada, this one is on the “Things A Come Up To Bump” riddim. The catchy moving melody was originally laid down by Kingston’s Coxsone Dodd.

Over time many lyrical gurus have blessed this riddim, namely Lincoln “Sugar Booga” Minott, Anthony Johnson, Freddie Gregor and Leroy Smart. But it is another Smart, this one by the name of Howie Smart from Toronto, who comes with my favourite cut on this remade riddim courtesy of Mes Jam Record’s Don Wycleffe Messam. (more…)

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