Archive for August, 2013

Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras Meet The Congos – Icon Give Thank (2012)

Posted in Dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sun Araw, The Congos with tags , , , on August 31, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“You can trace the inspiration for this ninth volume of the FRKWYS series — the RVNG Intl. label’s matching of ‘contemporary artists with those that may have preceded them in style and/or approach’ — back to the 1977 album Heart of the Congos, where the roots reggae harmonies of the Congos met the dub experimentation of Lee Perry, and with legendary results. Here avant-garde post-rockers Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras take Perry’s place without trying to replace him, and the results are trippy, tropical, and — best of all — full of life. After some wide open numbers that are akin to floating in a crystal-blue ocean with mushrooms on the assist (the bleepy and percussive ‘New Binghi,’ the very bright and very Holger Czukay ‘Happy Song,’ both aptly titled), the album slowly morphs and sobers, becoming more Congos-driven with slow, soul-filling chants of freedom sitting on top of waterlogged dubs. The stickler here has to be ‘Jungle,’ which borders on comedic, sprawling across the floor like a screwed and chopped ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ but consider that there’s plenty of levity to be had on both the West Coast and in Jamaica, the locations where these sessions were recorded. If the two were next to one another, this could be the casual border music, at least the avant roots side of it, so kudos to all involved for the imaginary passport and respect to RVNG for delivering on the idea of the Folkways label in an alternate universe.”

“Back in 2011 Cameron Stallones, a Los Angeles native who records glitchy psychedelia under the name Sun Araw, and the similarly inclined L.A. electronic musician M. Geddes Gengras decamped to Jamaica to record with the legendary roots reggae group the Congos, whose Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry-produced 1977 debut Heart of the Congos was one of the best albums to come out of Jamaica at a time when the island was producing an unprecedented amount of incredible music. It was an odd team-up, a bunch of older, very serious musicians collaborating across stylistic and cultural gaps with a couple of punkish young noise dudes, but the resulting record, Icon Give Thank, is a surprisingly organic synthesis of traditional reggae and envelope-pushing electronic experimentation. Now, what was originally presented as a one-off partnership, has spawned a live sequel.”

YouTube: Sunshine, Jungle, Thanks And Praise
YouTube: Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras Meet The Congos – FRKWYS Vol. 9: Icon Give Thank (2012) [Full Album]

Rockers Almighty Dub (1979)

Posted in Big Ben Records, Dub, Robbie Shakespeare, Rockers, Sly Dunbar, The Aggrovators, The Revolutionaries with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“10 excellent roots rock rhythms given a nice dub treatment, and though we’re selling this record as most shops do, as a King Tubby side, we’d be willing to wager he actually wasn’t around his studio when this was mixed, and certainly wasn’t around Joe Gibbs’ or Bullwackies when the cuts included here from those spots were mixed. Still it’s a great set of rhythms, all with excellent spaced out dub mixes, and burning performances at the hands of Sly & Robbie, Family Man, Bagga Morris, Santa Davis, Augustus Pablo and others. ”
Dusty Groove

YouTube: 01 – Rockers Almighty Dub, 02 – Dunza Dub, 03 – Storm And Lightning, 04 – Something Nice Bout Day, 05 – I And I Land, 06 – Ten Pieces In One, 07 – Freedom Joy Dub, 08 – Upful And Positive Dread, 09 – Hold This Dub, 10 – 21 Gun Salute To Brother Marcus

Gregory Isaacs & U-Brown – The Border (1977)

Posted in Dub, G.G. All Stars, Gregory Isaacs, U-Roy with tags , , , on August 29, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

YouTube: Gregory Isaacs & U-Brown – The Border + GG AllStars-Dub Part Two

Pearnel Charles – Turn Dem Back (1973)

Posted in Bob Marley and the Wailers, Dancehall, Uncategorized with tags , on August 28, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“This is the seventh in a series recounting close encounters with death by Jamaicans, some of them in prominent positions of society. Many Jamaicans over a certain age will remember Pearnel Charles spending 283 days in detention during the infamous State of Emergency of 1976. However, the affable veteran politician and trade unionist’s experience in a Jamaican jail pales in comparison to his close shaves with death during the 75 years and seven months he has spent on Earth.  …”
When Pearnel Charles shot a man to save himself

“Cultural theorist Donna Hope has asserted that dancehall and dancehall culture are squarely apolitical and anti-establishment in their focus and essence. Scholars such as Carolyn Cooper have also argued that the violence in dancehall falls in the realm of metaphor and role-play and that the literal interpretations of these lyrics are inclinations to ‘criminalise the idiom and demonise the culture’. …”
Dancehall Political Patronage and Gun Violence Political Affiliations and Glorification of Gun Culture

“In the last election Prime Minister X went to Ethiopia and met with the King of Kings and had a conversation with him. He came back to Jamaica and showed the people a Rod, which he said was given to him by the King, Haile Selassie the First, to bring freedom to the Black People of Jamaica. He carried that Rod all around during the campaign. The Rastafarians heard this; the Dreadlocks heard this; and this rod caused him to win a landslide victory for the Party. …”
Jamaican Politics, Reggae and Rastafarianism in the 1970’s

Reggae Collector – Turn Dem Back

Dub Syndicate – North of the River Thames (1984)

Posted in Adrian Sherwood, Augustus Pablo, Dub, Dub Syndicate, On-U Sound with tags , , , , on August 27, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

North Of The River Thames 1
“This is one of the more curious entries in the always interesting On-U Sound catalog. Doctor Pablo is Pete Stroud, a British melodica player who fell in love with the ‘Far East’ sound of pioneering melodica virtuoso Augustus Pablo and hooked up with label head Adrian Sherwood and his house band, the Dub Syndicate, to record an album of languid reggae instrumentals in a style closely based on that of his namesake. (Even the album title is a tribute: It’s a parody on the title of Augustus Pablo’s classic album East of the River Nile.) What gives this album an added whimsical twist is the fact that two of the tracks are covers of popular British tunes — there’s an arrangement of the popular TV theme song ‘Man of Mystery’ and a setting of the ‘Dr. Who?’ theme. Others are more simply standard-issue instrumental reggae with featured melodica. the Dub Syndicate plays things a bit more restrained than usual, but its mighty rhythm section is as powerful as always, especially on the album’s standout track, a long and eerie Stroud composition entitled ‘Red Sea’ (which would later be appropriated by Singers & Players as the rhythm for their equally powerful song ‘Moses’). Fans of the On-U label’s signature sound should consider this a strongly recommended purchase, but newcomers may do better starting out with one of the Dub Syndicate albums or one of the compilations in the Pay It All Back series.”

YouTube: Dub Syndicate – North of the River Thames, Man Of Mystery, Dr. Who?, We Like It Hot, Taste Of Honey, Pressurized

Dennis Brown – Visions (1977)

Posted in Dennis Brown, Dub, Joe Gibbs, Rastafarians, Tommy McCook with tags , , , , on August 24, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Following a series of early single releases for various Jamaican engineers, singer Dennis Brown entered a particularly prolific partnership with producer Joe Gibbs. The two worked together from the mid-’70s to the early ’80s. Visions (1977) presents Brown as a roots-based singer with major crossover potential. The smooth, reassuring quality of his voice and his comfortable range would seem to make him the obvious choice for an American label seeking an international success story. Brown’s subject matter spans the spectrum of Rasta concerns, detailing economic suffering, African oppression, deep religious conviction, and a strong political consciousness. …”

Visions of Dennis Brown (also known as Visions) is a 1978 reggae album by Dennis Brown. The album was the first to come out of Brown’s second stint with producer Joe Gibbs, with whom he would have his breakthrough international success, and the album played a major part in establishing the dominant position of both Brown and Gibbs in late 1970s reggae. The album mixes roots reggae themes such as economic hardship, African oppression, religion, and politics, with lovers rock material (‘Love Me Always’) and a cover version of Ray Charles’ ‘This Little Girl of Mine’. The album was engineered by Errol Thompson and features veteran musicians Bobby Ellis (trumpet), Vin Gordon (trombone), Herman Marquis (alto saxophone), and Tommy McCook (tenor saxophone).”

“Having initially established his reputation at Coxsone Dodd’s legendary Studio One with the 1970 released LP ‘No Man Is An Island’ (recorded when he was only 13 years old!), teen sensation Dennis Brown confirmed his great talent with a series of brilliant singles on a wide range of Jamaican and UK labels. However it was with Winston ‘Niney’ Holness, who produced Dennis Brown’s huge hit ‘Money In My Pocket’ for Joe Gibss, that the young vocalist enjoyed the most consistent run of success and started to raise his profile higher in the mid-1970s with classic roots statements such as ‘I Am The Conqueror’, ‘No More Will I Roam’, and ‘Wolf & Leopards’, to name a few. Further hits, as well as remarkably consistent albums with producer Joe Gibbs and engineer Errol Thompson (aka the Mighty Two) completed the process by which he earned the title of ‘Crown Prince Of Reggae’. …”
Reggae Vibes

YouTube: Milk and Honey (Live at Montreux festival 1979), Repatriation, Joe Gibbs – Jubilation Dub, Malcolm X, Deliverance Will Come, Oh Mother, Love Me Always & Dub {Joe Gibbs}, Junior Reed – Concrete Castle King + Dub, Jah Can Do It, Stay at home aKa Ghetto Girl, Say What You Say

Horace Andy – Won’t you come home + Version (1978)

Posted in Dub, Horace Andy, Rockers with tags , , on August 24, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

Horace Andy - Won't You Come Home (label)2
YouTube: Won’t you come home + Version

Various Artists – Don’t Call Us Immigrants (2000)

Posted in Adrian Sherwood, Pressure Sounds with tags , on August 21, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“The fact the informative liner notes are written by Pressure Sounds label founder and modern dub avatar Adrian Sherwood is a sure sign of the historical importance attached to this compilation. The music on Don’t Call Us Immigrants marks the emergence of the original wave of U.K. reggae bands, many of them the children of the original post-WWII immigrant wave from Jamaica to the U.K. It features the first-ever recordings by Steel Pulse and Aswad, chronicles the emergence of Dennis Bovell as a producer and major creative force with Matumbi and others, and spotlights U.K. scene mainstays like Misty in Roots, Black Slate, and Reggae Regular. …”

YouTube: Don’t Call Us Immigrants – Tabby Cat Kelly, Where is Jah? – The Regulars, Black Slate – Sticksman, Steel Pulse – Nyah Love, Aswad – It’s Not Our Wish, Misty In Roots – Six One Penny, Lion Youth – Rat A Cut Bottle, AFRICAN BROTHERS – ‘Gimme Gimme African Love’ + Dub Version – 7″ 1976

Prince Buster – The Message Dubwise (1972)

Posted in Prince Buster with tags on August 19, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“On an island overflowing with exceptional talent on both sides of the mixing board, to suggest that just one man was the most influential is perhaps absurd, but if you took a poll, Prince Buster would inevitably win by a wide margin. He remains synonymous with ska, while being equally important to rocksteady. From Judge Dread to rude reggae, Prince Buster has left his imprint across Jamaica’s musical landscape, both as a singer and a producer. 2-Tone wouldn’t have existed without him, and by extension, neither would the third wave. And over 45 years after he first appeared on the music scene, Prince Buster was still making an impact. …”
Zero Sounds

“If anything could be said to have assured the future of dub, it was the decision to release full-length albums dedicated exclusively to the nascent genre. The first began appearing in 1972, with Prince Buster’s Message Dubwise among these originating sets. Mixed down by Carlton Lee, the highly innovative ten-track strong album highlights Buster’s strengths as a producer, as well as his distinctive style. And although some of the dubs are invariably bass led, including the title track and the bouncy ‘Jet Black,’ Buster was drum mad, and so the percussion is often pulled to the fore, notably on the crash, bang, wallop of ‘Why Am I Treated So Bad’ and the nyahbinghi-fied ‘Sata a Miss Gana,’ one of the most evocative numbers on the set. …”

YouTube: SATA A MASA GANA, Java Plus, Swing Low, Why Am I Treated So Bad, Swing Low

Alton Ellis – Sunday Coming (1970)

Posted in Alton Ellis, Coxsone Dodd, Ska with tags , , on August 17, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

Alton Ellis - Sunday coming 2 (1971) cd
“Alton Ellis is one of the best Jamaican vocalists to have emerged during the ska and rocksteady periods in the ’60s. His singing prowess remained intact through the reggae, dancehall, and ragga years as well, proving that his uniquely soulful delivery and impeccable phrasing could transcend reggae’s many changes. Recording with his preferred producer Clement Dodd, Ellis cut Sunday Coming around 1969-1970 at Dodd’s legendary Brentford Road studio. Most likely backed by the producer’s Sound Dimension band (featuring the great Jackie Mittoo as arranger and organist), Ellis offers up a typical set of originals and choice covers from the day’s charts. …”

Sunday Coming is an 1970 album by Jamaican rocksteady singer Alton Ellis. It was produced by Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd and recorded at his Brentford Road studio. The album was originally released on Dodd’s Coxsone label and subsequently reissued on CD in 1995 on Heartbeat Records.”

YouTube: Sunday Coming, It’s True, These Eyes