From my collection I’ve picked this 7″, which is my hot little copy of the Living Dangerously riddim. Produced by Paul ‘Jah Screw ‘ Love, for Time 1 International records.

Despite the lack of album artwork interest with this choice, there’s just so much I love about this 45. It’s the one jumping out today.

I procured this piece back in 2009 when I was living in Melbourne and 45 digging at Jesse I’s Higher Level Record Shack, a home-based vinyl shop in an apartment lounge.

The A and B sides are mis-pressed. It took some time and scouring through collectors on Youtube to find out what the B-side version I was specifically excited about actually was, as it’s titled only Jah Screw dub version. The A-side vocal cut is a completely different riddim, ‘Under mi Sensi’ by Barrington Levy and Beenie Man, on the African Beat.

I’d never heard the version before I bought it, so it was a case of the random mystery riddim, something Jamaican 7’s can be so great for. And guys, there’s a shit load of dub versions of Jah Screw riddims out there.

I played it out well before I knew what it was and it really felt like a small victory when I finally found it, with its distinctively dated sounding horn intro. When I did I also discovered the wicked, wicked vocal cuts, namely Real Badman by Simpleton, Woe Woe by General Degree and Good Body Gal by Captain Barkey. Killer tunes dem.

This riddim is just so fun, it never fails in making me feel good and bringing dance to my limbs. The tempo and swing encapsulate a style and era of dancehall that I’m super attracted to. I’ve run it in my sets many times over the years, clocking up happy memories together of celebrations, places and people. So there’s much nostalgia mingled in the sound now.

I would keep playing it to death really, and, well that’s what has happened. It wasn’t a great pressing to start with and now it’s got that thrashed sound. Sad face. Nah, well-loved and good innings face.

The Living Dangerously riddim was released in 1995, and that was a very good year in my books. My last year of high school, big warehouse raves, jungle music and patios reggae and ragga lyrics mashing up my Waikato youth membranes. I would say that was my segue introduction year to the wonderful world of Jamaican music proper, through the likes of Cutty Ranks, Buju Banton, Ninjaman, Barrington Levy, Lee Scratch Perry and John Holt.  And all those booming bass and drum sound system experiences that made an impression on me for life.

I’ll finally mention that the A-side of the 45 ‘Under mi Sensi’ is itself of course well crucial too. Is there anyone who was of-age in the mid-90s that doesn’t know and sing-along to Barrington’s chorus? And Beenie Man, what to say but … ooooohhhhh God.

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