Archive for March, 2017

U-Roy – Jah Son of Africa (1978)

Posted in Dancehall, Tony Robinson, U-Roy with tags , , on March 28, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“The best way to introduce oneself to the artistry of legendary deejay U Roy would probably be to check out either With a Flick of My Musical Wrist (on Trojan) or Super Boss (on Esoldun). But another good place to start is with the impressive collection of albums he made in the late 1970s for Virgin’s Front Line imprint. When the Front Line catalog was first reissued in the early 1990s, most of the tracks on Jah Son of Africa were included on a U Roy compilation entitled Natty Rebel: Extra Version (another found its way onto a similar compilation called Version of Wisdom). Anyone who missed out on those fine collections can buy this reissue with confidence; it finds U Roy at the peak of his powers, chatting over dub versions of such classic tracks as the Wailers ‘Exodus’ and the Gladiators’ ‘Stick a Bush,’ his much-imitated whoops and interjections showcased beautifully by producer Tony Robinson (of Aswad). Highlights include the title track and the delightful ‘Tom Drunk.’ Highly recommended.”
allmusic
YouTube: Jah son of Africa, Rivers of babylon, Tom drunk, Peace and love in the ghetto, Running around town with Tom, Dick & Harry, I got to tell you goodbye, Herbman skanking, Africa for the Africans, Love in the arena,

Linval Thompson ‎– She Is Mad With Me / Stop Your War (1979)

Posted in Linval Thompson, Trojan with tags , on March 27, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Thompson was raised in Kingston, Jamaica, but spent time with his mother in Queens, New York, and his recording career began around the age of 20 with the self-released ‘No Other Woman,’ recorded in Brooklyn, New York. Returning to Jamaica in the mid 1970s he recorded with Phil Pratt, only to return to New York to study engineering. … Although he continued to work as a singer, he became increasingly prominent as a producer, working with key artists of the late roots and early dancehall era such as Dennis Brown, Cornell Campbell, The Wailing Souls, Barrington Levy and Trinity, with releases through Trojan Records as well as his own Strong Like Sampson and Thompson Koos record labels. …”
Midnight Raver
YouTube: She Is Mad With Me

Carlton Jackson

Posted in Black Ark, Dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry with tags , , on March 20, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“b. c.1955, Greenwich Town, Jamaica, West Indies. Jackson began his musical career on the Ethiopian Hi Fi Sound System in the early 70s. To be a serious contender on the sound system circuit, the operators would secure unique dub plates, and this led Jackson to Lee Perry’s Black Ark studio in Washington Gardens. At the studio, Perry persuaded Jackson to record his debut, the timeless ‘History’. The song related the history of Afro-Caribbeans from slavery to the awakening of Rastafari: ‘I was bound in chains and taken to the Caribbean – The new faces that I met – Sayin’ they are my master – to teach I to be like fools – Jah Jah’. The song surfaced in the UK on a limited-edition Upsetter discomix, where it was snapped up by Perry enthusiasts, and it was later remixed and re-released in Jamaica on Jackson’s own Ital International label. Jackson followed the song with ‘Only Jah Can Do It’, but elected to concentrate on working with other artists, including the Soul Syndicate, Prince Allah, Sammy Dread and Bunny Wailer. There was a brief return to performing in 1982 when he recorded ‘Disarmament’, ably supported by Roots Radics. By the mid-80s he returned to production and promotional work in the USA on behalf of reggae. While based in New York, Jackson worked with a variety of contemporary dancehall singers, including Cocoa Tea, Pinchers and Sanchez. In the late 80s Jackson toured Europe with Pinchers and settled in London, when the release of Open The Gate, featuring ‘History’, ensured the performer cult status.”
allmusic
Carlton Jackson – History. This lyric contains biblical references.
YouTube: History Of Captivity, History (alternate Jamaican mix) (re) Lee Perry production, Disarmament (Ital International), Only Jah will do

Hugh Mundell – Book Of Life + Jah Levi – (Verse 2) + Book Of Dub

Posted in Augustus Pablo, Hugh Mundell with tags , on March 15, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Hugh Mundell wrote and sang the opening verses of ‘Day of Judgment’ when he was just fourteen years of age. The words hit hard – a one-two punch to capitalism and the vampire of Babylon. The words are especially relevant to the economic conditions the world’s been experiencing for the past six years – an unprecedented recession with little hope of significant recovery on the horizon. It’s the same story we’ve been hearing for more than 75 years in the folk songs of Woodie Guthrie, the soul spirituals of Stevie Wonder, the rootical vibrations of Bob Marley, and yes, the post-roots era reggae songs of Hugh Mundell. The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Reggae is at its best when people are suffering the most. The great Rockers stalwart Junior Delgado describes him most appropriately as ‘a blessed singer, a blessed child’ because his gift was pure and true. What came to many Jamaican vocalists through years and years of relentless vocal rehearsal came to this “blessed youth’ like the sunrise that greets every day, almost as if he was divinely ordained to deliver the message. Like those who came before him – Marley, Garvey, Malcolm – this prophet and poet of the black struggle was given little time to deliver his message in this realm, however, he used every second, every minute, every hour of that time to speak directly and unapologetically to the injustices of his world. …”
“GREAT TRIBULATION”: The Life and Times of Hugh Mundell (Video)
YouTube: Hugh Mundell – Book Of Life + Jah Levi – (Verse 2) + Book Of Dub, “My, My” (Pablo International), Augustus Pablo & Hugh Mundell – Africa Dub

Mickey Simpson & Errol Thompson – See Dem A Come (1974)

Posted in Errol Thompson, Joe Gibbs, Micky Simpson with tags , , on March 12, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“If anyone is exemplary of a hard knock life, careerwise I mean, it must be Micky Simpson. Although not much information about this artist can be found, his vocation in music seems to have been a very rocky road. Born and raised in Ocho Rios (I believe) Mickey Simpson was off to a fine start when he recorded a string of singles in the mid seventies, such as the impeccable “Peace of Mind” on Shacks, “I and I can’t turn back now” on Total Sounds and the one featured here: “See dem a come” on Errol Thompson’s Naa-Na label. The latter appears to be the least known song among reggae fans and Mickey aficionados alike. For what it’s worth, I wasn’t aware of this single either untill someone tipped me. But I’m glad I found it, because it’s simply superb. The riddim is elemental, to say the least, but serves perfectly well the purpose of the song. With its eerie keyboard line and heavy flying cymbal base, it sounds like an army marching into town. An army with no other intention then to spread mayhem and despair upon the land. The matrix number suggests the riddim was recorded before the vocal take, so perhaps it served as an inspiration to Mickey, who follows suit with dark, but uplifting and hopeful lyrics. Indeed, a classic roots reggae approach, but a fine one at that. The producer’s credit on “See dem a come” goes to both Joe Gibbs and Errol Thomspon. That’s quite interesting as Errol T was still involved with Randy’s in 1974, if I’m not mistaking. Perhaps Joe Gibbs used the credit to lure Errol away from the Chin premises? Whatever the case, this is certainly an early example of the duo credit the partners-to-be would incorporate on their future releases.

I’m not sure what happened for Mickey Simpson in between 1974 and 1980, but by the turn of the decade he had moved on to record for Jack Ruby and made an appearance in the legendary 1981 documentary “Deep Roots” in which he can be seen singing “Don’t Cry” (his biggest hit) and “Move the barrier.” In another great movie from around this time, Mickey is performing “Good Loving” live in Ocho Rios on Jack Ruby’s HiFi. Although scoring (minor) hits again, I have no idea what the singer was up to after the mid 80’s until he resurfaced and teamed up with Barry O’ Hare and the Flynn brothers’ Chain Gang Music label in the early nineties. It had been 19 years in the making, but in 1993 Mickey Simpson finally released his debut album and things seemed to go forward for the singer. He recorded for a fair deal of producers and had tunes out on Roof Int, Star Track and Penthouse, for whom he recorded his biggest hit of the era. Unfortunately it was also to be his last. Penthouse recorded a great cut of the Far East riddim, which Buju Banton sang into the charts with his ‘Murderer’, the track he wrote to commemorate his friend Pan Head who was killed earlier that year. Mickey Simpson also scored big on the riddim, but when his “Save a little bit” came out, the label read; “Mickey was murdered on december 6, 1993. May his soul rest in peace.” I have nothing to add to that.”
Pressure Beat (Video)

YouTube: Mickey Simpson & Errol Thompson – See Dem A Come

Lee Perry Presents: Dub Treasure From The Black Ark (Rare Dubs 1976-1978)

Posted in Black Ark, Clancy Eccles, Coxsone Dodd, Dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry with tags , , , , on March 11, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Jamaican Recordings dust off a prime box of rare Lee Perry tricks, apparently from the Black Ark circa 1976-1978. The Black Ark was in operation from 1974 until the early ’80s when it suffered an unfortunate, and some might say inevitable, demise. Located in Perry’s back yard at 5 Washington Gardens, Kingston, JA, the studio’s equipment was modest compared with other setups on the island – including a Teac 4-track recorder, soundcraft mixing desk, Echoplex delay and phaser FX with a Roland RE201 Space Echo, but of course, it’s not what you got, it’s what you do with it that counts! And Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry made some of his most definitive tracks during this period, surrounded by an ever increasing circle of nyabinghi-playing Rastas. It’s that drumming and the sense of ‘whooshing; psychedelic space that defines the 16 tracks from this era and sets this body of work apart from the rest of his catalogue. Check out for the frivolous vibes of ‘Party Dub’, the tumbling dubble time syncopations of ‘Hot A Hot Dub’ or the CD only bonus cut ‘Baby Talk’, featuring the recurring (and occasionally disturbing) theme of babbling babies set amidst breathtakingly dynamic and dextrous FX. Killah sound.”
Boomkat

“Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s Black Ark Studio opened its doors in 1974. Situated in his backyard at 5 Washington Gardens,Kingston, Jamaica. Using only basic equipment, a Teac Four-Track Recorder, a Soundcraft mixing desk, an Echoplex delay unit and later adding a Phaser effects unit that he used in conjunction with his Roland RE201 Space Echo. He managed mixing down the tracks from Four track to Two track to make his distinctive whirling sound that sets apart the Black Ark Sound from the other Jamaican Studios. Born Rainford Hugh Perry, 28 March 1936, Hanover, Jamaica. He began his career at the grand age of 16, working for Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd’s sound system, rising quickly to the position of record scout and organising recording sessions during his 3 year period 1963-1966. Restlessness and unsatisfied with credit he felt due to him he moved on to work with Producers J.J. Johnson and Clancy Eccles, the later of which would help him set up his ‘Upsetter’ label in 1968,which would see his first of many recordings telling the injustices done to him by previous employers. ‘The Upsetter’ track itself pointed at Mr Dodd but reflected back to Perry when he inherited it as a nick name alongside many others during the course of his career, including ‘Scratch’, again taken from one of his recordings ‘Chicken Scratch’ recorded in 1965/1966. …”
Jamaican Recordings

iTunes, amazon

YouTube: Dub Treasures From The Black Ark Rare Dubs 1976-1978>/a> 50:15

Adrian Sherwood – Becoming A Cliché / Dub Cliché (2006)

Posted in Adrian Sherwood, Dub, On-U Sound with tags , , on March 6, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage


“Producer Adrian Sherwood has spent the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s exerting an enormous influence on modern pop music, both as head of the avant-garde roots reggae hothouse known as On-U Sound Records and as producer and remixer to forward-thinking pop artists as diverse as Einsturzende Neubauten, Depeche Mode, Simply Red, and Nine Inch Nails. But it’s taken almost that long for him to finally release an album under his own name. His first solo effort was 2003’s multifariously brilliant Never Trust a Hippy; the follow-up finds him continuing to expand his musical horizons, keeping most of his grooves in an adventurously dubwise but still deeply rootsy reggae-funk vein while promiscuously incorporating any other musical tradition that happens to strike his fancy at the same time. … If you can get your hands on it, spend a little extra for the limited-edition package, which includes a second disc of dub remixes. Essential.”
allmusic
Discogs
YouTube: Dub Cliché, Becoming A Cliché (Full Album)