Ja-Man All Stars – In the Dub Zone

“In 1998, the Blood & Fire label released a reggae collection entitled 129 Beat Street: Ja-Man Special 75-78, which featured classic singles produced by Dudley ‘Manzie’ Swaby during the classical era of roots reggae. In the Dub Zone draws on Swaby’s dub productions from the same period and from a few years later, at the beginning of the dancehall era. It includes the entirety of two dub albums, Ja-Man Dub and King’s Dub, their contents augmented by four additional dub mixes taken from the B-sides of singles released on Swaby’s Manzies label during the same period. There are, unfortunately, almost no partial vocal tracks left in any of these mixes, but the rhythm tracks are powerful enough to stand on their own, and Swaby’s production style, while not especially adventurous, is fun and creative enough to keep things interesting. His studio band, the Ja-Man All Stars, was led by legendary drummer Sly Dunbar, and included such luminaries of the scene as guitarist Eric ‘Bingy Bunny’ Lamont, saxophonist ‘Deadly’ Headley Bennett, trombonist Don Drummond, and bassist Robbie Shakespeare, among others. There are no really weak tracks, but highlights include the horn-and-organ-driven ‘Half Ounce,’ ‘Weak Heart Drop’ (which includes snippets of what sounds like a Horace Andy vocal), and the catchy ‘Poor Man Skank.’ Highly recommended overall.”
allmusic (Video)

“Since the release of the first album ‘If Deejay Was Your Trade’ in 1994 UK-based Blood & Fire Records have established themselves a name as one of the best re-issue labels around. This record company rightfully deserves its fame as it pleases reggae fans all over the world with releases of mainly hard-to-get gems from the past presented with the best sound quality possible, excellent artwork and great sleeve notes. Blood & Fire’s 23rd release ‘129 Beat Street ~ Ja-Man Special 1975-1978’, which featured a selection of Dudley ‘Manzie’ Swaby’s classic roots vocal productions of the time, gets its follow up with their 41st release called ‘In The Dub Zone’. The cd comprises two -very hard to find in their original form- dub albums [‘Ja-Man Dub’ and ‘Kings Dub’] produced by Dudley ‘Manzie’ Swaby in 1977 and 1980. Both are presented here in their entirety, along with 4 b-side mixes taken from 45 rpm discs originally issued by the producer on his Ja-man and Manzie imprints in the same period. During this period, the focus of Jamaican music changed; from a roots and culture orientation – outward looking, socially aware – to a more hedonistic, materialist approach. This latter direction, generally referred to as ‘dancehall’ was more inward-looking, dealing largely in themes that reflected the day-to-day concerns of dancehall patrons.”
Reggae Vibes

YouTube: Dub Zone, Dangerman Version, Herb Cutter, Dread Nut Chalice, Well Black, Fire Bun, Half Ounce, Big Spliff, Rasta Feeling, Bush Weed, Don’t Get Crazy, King’s Dub, Blood Version


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