Jah 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.

I can only say I was nothing short of thrilled to find the tune in Music Temple in Brixton last month, a store run by a real rootical, hearty character by the name of Simon. He had a copy in excellent nick, which he added, had come from a good home. Incidentally, I had also been listening to Kim Hill’s recent interview with Danny Lemon on Radio New Zealand, and Danny was planning to run it. This got me thinking that now was the time to write about it.

Back in the late 80s, a lot of the reggae production world seemed to be focused on the exciting new digital revolution. However there were also a handful of UK roots producers who were still using analog techniques, such as Jah Rej. And their niche tunes were mashing up the roots sound systems and pirate airwaves of the U.K.

Jah Rej, the genius bossman behind the Jah Works label, starts this tune off with his signature sharp drum lick and some deadly melodious key work, before dropping bass down on a seriously heavy roots mission. Complimented by Donette Forte’s (Jah Rej’s wife at the time) vocal, who comes in with ‘This is Reggae, Music of the Free, This is Reggae, Jah know now, Check your Reality, This is Reggae, Come dance with me, Are you Rocking, To the Rhythm of Resistance.’

This 12” is a killer. The Lion Dub and Raw Resistance Dub which accompanies it also are worth checking. Unfortunately, actually listening to this track online is a bit tricky. There is a partial but very average upload of the vocal cut on YouTube, and some record shops have clips.  I hope you can find and hear this somewhat elusive track.

More info:
Link to Mannaseh Radio Shows on Kiss FM
12″ on Discogs