Black 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.

As obvious a song title as “Sweet Reggae Music” may be, its the delivery of a constant stream of simple lyrics and basic ideas in his extremely sincere and just intent that cuts through – “Music is so devine, it’s yours and its mine, its good for the young, its good for the old, reggae music, strictly roots music“. Simple and effective. Honest and thoughtful.

An equally wicked deejay cut comes through at 3 and a half minutes when a hardly known (and seemingly undocumented) fellow by the name of Daddy Soujie comes in. Again, a simple but deadly delivery ensues.

There’s something to be said of mid-1980’s Canadian records. I’m not entirely sure how many studios or labels there were but the ones like King Culture, C & S, Mes Jam and Black Diamond all have a high calibre of the all killer no filler characteristic to them.

It might be worth a dig into these Canadian 12″s or even a trip to Toronto.

Red Robin