Archive for Dancehall

Keith Rowe – Stop that train / Groovy situation / Living My Life (1967-77-78)

Posted in Big Youth, Dancehall, Dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry with tags , , , on December 16, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

Keith & Tex are the Jamaican rocksteady duo of Keith Rowe and Phillip Texas Dixon, best known for their 1967 hit ‘Stop That Train‘. Keith Rowe (Born Keith Barrington Rowe) grew up in the Washington Gardens area of Saint Andrew Parish, across the road from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s home and future studio, on the outskirts of Kingston. Phillip Texas Dixon grew up in the Pembroke Hall area and they were introduced by a mutual friend. Starting out as a five man group singing on the corner, they were encouraged to try to get recorded. They soon began auditioning for local producers but were rejected by Prince Buster, Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reid, the group having lost confidence broke up leaving two. Keith and Tex were left and auditioned for Derrick Harriott where they eventually found success. …  Rowe joined the US Army in 1972, staying in for twenty years, but also found time for music, recording as a solo artist, working with producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, releasing tracks such as ‘Groovy Situation’ and ‘Living My Life’, and recording further singles in the US, including a few on his own KEBAR label. …”
YouTube: Stop that train – Keith, Tex & Friends, Groovy situation, Living My Life

Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall (2012)

Posted in Dancehall with tags on April 17, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall is the first book to look, in- depth, at reggae in the 1980s, the period in Jamaican music that gave birth to what we know today as the ‘Dancehall’ sound. Some of the subjects that are covered include the development of sound systems in post independence Jamaica, ‘slackness’ v ‘culture’, political war and its effect on sound system activity, the ‘digital’ breakthrough in 1985, women entertainers’ struggles to make it in a male dominated field, the ‘sing-jay’ style and how deejay lyrics changed throughout the years, how dance cassettes spread the rub-a-dub style, the reggae business model and the problems it created, the fight against the dance hall style and its ultimate triumph as the premier sound of Jamaica today.”
Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall
Reggae Vibes
[PDF] Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall

Dancehall – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture released on Soul Jazz Records is an essential guide and who’s who to the phenomenal explosion of Dancehall in Jamaica in the 1980s and its subsequently rise throughout the world. Released to coincide with the launch of Beth Lesser’s deluxe 200-page book of the same name (also published by Soul Jazz Records) featuring hundreds of amazing photographs and accompanying text, this new CD double-album features a pantheon of Dancehall stars – Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott, Sister Nancy, Tenor Saw, Sly & Robbie, King Jammy, Eek A Mouse, Yellowman, Frankie Paul and many, many more. …”
soundsoftheuniverse: Dancehall – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture (Video)
soundsoftheuniverse: Dancehall 2 – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture (Video)
amazon: Dancehall, Dancehall 2

The Royals – Pick Up the Pieces (2002)

Posted in Coxsone Dodd, Dancehall, Duke Reid, Joe Gibbs, Pressure Sounds with tags , , , , , on April 1, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“The story of Roy Cousins and the Royals is, sadly, a fairly common one in Jamaican music. The body of work the group released between the years 1973 and 1979 rightly places them amongst the finest vocal acts of the roots era. Yet the failure of various producers and distributors to support the group, and constant changes in membership, led to their eventual obscurity outside of a relatively small group of reggae collectors. Thankfully, Pressure Sounds has sought to remedy this situation with this enhanced restoration of the group’s classic 1977 debut, Pick up the Pieces. Though the Royals toured the usual Jamaican studio circuit, recording for Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Joe Gibbs, and others, it wasn’t until Cousins began funding and supervising the group’s sessions that their music was given the necessary space to develop on record. What followed was a string of stunning, heartfelt releases showcasing the tight harmony singing of the shifting lineup, including ‘Ghetto Man,’ ‘Promised Land,’ ‘Only for a Time,’ and the classic title track. The U.S. soul stylings of the Drifters and the Temptations were an early influence. This explains in part why these titles are some of the most musically sublime expressions of Rastafarian faith and the hardships of ghetto living Jamaica has produced. Cousins moved to the U.K. in the late ’70s and left the group shortly thereafter to focus on producing, thus ending an important chapter in the group’s history. This reissue, then, is a much-needed testament to his work, made even more valuable with a host of bonus cuts appearing for the first time on CD. Another gem in the Pressure Sounds catalog.”

Pick Up the Pieces is the debut album from Jamaican roots reggae group The Royals, collecting recordings made between 1973 and 1977, and produced by Royals lead vocalist and only constant member Roy Cousins. Musicians on the album include members of The Wailers, Soul Syndicate, The In Crowd, and the Now Generation. The album was later licensed to United Artists subsidiary Ballistic Records, and was reissued in an expanded form in 2002 by Pressure Sounds. The songs on the album have been described as ‘some of the most musically sublime expressions of Rastafarian faith and the hardships of ghetto living Jamaica has produced.'”

“Reggae singer, songwriter and producer Roy Anthony Cousins will forever be associated with the very dignified cultural Studio One single ‘Pick Up The Pieces, done as singer and leader of the vocal group The Royals. And although there will hardly be a reggae fan who doesn’t know the song and/or its riddim, it’s doubtful if most reggae aficionados know that the man has left an indelible mark on the reggae scene. With The Royals – an ever-changing line up of harmony singers – he released three full length albums (‘Ten Years After’, ‘Israel Be Wise’ and ‘Moving On’), but not that many long-time reggae fans will know that he has released about 100 albums as a producer. Among them are sets with artists such as Devon Russell, Winston Jarrett, Earl Sixteen, Don Carlos & Gold, Charlie Chaplin, Knowledge, Pablove Black, Winston Francis, Jah Stitch and Prince Far I. Back in 1983 Roy Cousins took the Finnish Cool Runnings Posse, Tero Kaski and Pekka Vuorinen, under his wings. They travelled around in Kingston in his pick-up van and he took them to Channel One and Harry J when he had hired the studios for his artists like for example Charlie Chaplin. They also managed to do an interview with Roy Cousins, one of the very few he has done. Many thanks to Pekka Vuorinen for giving permission to publish that interview and for providing photos. Also thanks to Ray Hurford and to Roy Cousins, who generously provided samples of his extensive catalogue. This interview, along with other noteworthy interviews from the early eighties, was published in the book ‘Volcano Revisited – Kingston Dancehall Scene 1984’ (Eronen 2011). …”
Reggae Vibes


YouTube: Pick Up The Pieces 1:04:28

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.”
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,

Madoo – Backway Mr. Landlord / Prince Mohammed – Backway

Posted in Dancehall, Pressure Sounds with tags , on January 25, 2017 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“The burdens of being a landlord… Everybody thinks you’re getting filthy rich by doing …well… nothing, really. You just collect the rent and then go about spending your excessive amount of money. That’s all there is to it. In reality, as these two superb tunes point out, being a rentman or landlord means you’re actually very, very busy. Recovering in the hospital, for instance. It’s a favourite topic in reggae, fighting off the landlord, and I can understand why. Jamaica went through rough times ten years after it became independent; and the Michael Manley government made choices that weren’t particularly benefiting the gross national income of the island. Although well intented, the fight over bauxite levies with US based aluminium companies and the strong links with Fidel Castro’s communist isle of Cuba, drastically affected Jamaica’s economy. So much so, that after years of declining tourist- and industry income rates (after a short stint upwards in the beginning), the IMF had to be called in for economic support.  And with that, heavy interests had to paid and the path went further downhill, economically.

As with everything in politics and economics, it’s the civilian who feels it. Thus, money was low, rent was due, jobs were scarce and fun was needed. The dancehall provided the latter and the deejays talked to people. About getting rid of the landlord, for instance. Ranging from ‘pretty please‘ appeals like the great Termites’ Mr Percy from the rocksteady era and Half Pint’s superb plea from the early 80’s, to  ‘I’m staying, don’t mess with me‘ messages from the likes of Basil Gabbidon – recorded in the ska days- to ‘bring a big dog if you want to get rid of me‘ threats like both Madoo and George Nooks put on display here. Gibbs recorded his fair share of anti-rentman tunes – Luie Lepke and Black Uhuru the most prominent – but I don’t think any were as harsh as the message Madoo conveys on this 7″. The roof is leaking, there’s no water in the pipes, the lights won’t light and rats are walking on the bed. Not a pretty situation, I agree. But Madoo’s landlord’s days are numbered, he states. Madoo’s staying and the landlord will end up in the hospital, well critical, taking saline while they fix up his spine. He might lose his sight.. Ah, sweet revenge!(?)

Madoo always was a great storyteller. Whether he’s talking about being the other man or hunting ladies, Madoo always finds an original angle to make his story come across. Backway Mr. Landlord is another example, in which he puts the landlord’s view – six months rent due, seeing his tenant buying new stuff but not paying his contract – right against the bitter struggle of the tenant  – living in a house that is not functional, with money problems and mouths to feed. The result is a harsh story, realistic and confronting. Yet it also makes for a great, great reggae song, owing much to the pleasant style, tone and character of Madoo’s voice, which is kindred to Horace Andy’s, but also quite unique in its own right. Prince Mohammed, in the meantime, keeps the horror level down a notch or three, but in the process he delivers one my favourite tunes by him under this monicker. Stating the landlord better bring a big dog to scare him, not a maga dog, Nooks sticks to the ‘i’m staying’  framework. He delivers his message in such a relaxed manner, opposite to the frantic style he’s known for, that it’s a shame this tune isn’t that well known. Venturing in between roles as singer and deejay, Nooks may have found his perfect pitch on this 7″, for it’s a true delight. In fact, I like this side even better than Madoo’s. And that’s saying something. The 12″ of this doublesider features Errol Thompson mixing both versions in a ‘call and reply’ mode. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to track it down, nor can I find it on the net. When I do, I will upload that particular mix to Pressure Beat as well.”
Pressure Beat (Video)

YouTube: Madoo – Mr. Landlord


Posted in Dancehall with tags on December 30, 2016 by 1960s: Days of Rage

Jamaican Street Artist Takes on Europe
“Dancehall is a genre of Jamaican popular music that originated in the late 1970s. Initially dancehall was a more sparse version of reggae than the roots style, which had dominated much of the 1970s. Two of the biggest stars of the early dancehall era were Yellowman and Eek-a-Mouse. Dancehall brought a new generation of producers, including Linval Thompson, Gussie Clarke and Jah Thomas. … Dancehall is named after Jamaican dance halls in which popular Jamaican recordings were played by local sound systems. They began in the late 1940s among people from the inner city of Kingston such as Trench Town, Rose Town and Denham Town, Jamaicans who were not able to participate in dances uptown. …”
Where to start with Jamaican dancehall (Video)
New Yorker: Rhythm Revival
Soundcloud (Video)
Radio Stations (Video)

Dee-Jay Explosion Inna Dancehall Style (1982)

Posted in Dancehall, DJ, Gussie Clarke with tags , , on July 26, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Significantly expanding on the original LP’s 12 cuts, the CD issue of Dee-Jay Explosion offers 21 sides featuring several top early-’80s dancehall DJs live. Cut at the popular Skateland Roller Disco in Kingston, this Heartbeat collection captures reggae toasters in their element: in front of a very enthusiastic crowd and backed by one of the top sound systems on the island. In this case, it’s the famous Gemini Disco crew who provide the sounds, while original DJ Big Youth acts as host — special mention should also go to producer Gussie Clarke, who taped the proceedings for posterity. So, with all the ‘back room’ credits out of the way, one can enjoy the likes of Eek-A-Mouse, Brigadier Jerry, Sister Nancy, Trinity, Yellowman, and Michigan & Smiley expertly working their way through some vintage Studio One rhythms, all the while touching on politics, Rasta business, sex, violence, poverty, and dancehall culture. Considering its rawness, though, Dee-Jay Explosion is best suited for seasoned fans, not those looking for an introduction to Jamaican DJ culture.”


YouTube: Brigadier Jerry : Going down to Texas, Ganja Clash -Welton Irie, Errol Scorcher – Wife And Sweetheart, Prince Mohammed – Turn Me On, Lee Van Cliff & Ranking Toyan ” Go Down Moses , Go Down & Dreadlocks Party”

Junior Reid – Long Road (1991)

Posted in Dancehall, Junior Reid with tags , on May 28, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“… A number of top Jamaican artist have recorded there, and Junior Reid has produced a good number of critically respected albums. From his humble beginnings in the ghetto of Waterhouse to the CEO of a major recording studio and record label, Junior Reid has accomplished a great deal on this short time on earth. With his incisive, almost prophetic lyrics and unstinting support for the ghettoman cause, Junior Reid remains a roots artist of great power. The album ‘Long Road’ comes from 1991, the time when the singer was on the cusp of worldwide breakthrough poised to sign to Madonna’s label and nuff tings a gwaan. ‘Long Road’ contains a number of dance style collaborations with the UK based Coldcut: Stop This Crazy Thing, Actions Speak Louder Than Words and a remake of the hit single he recorded for Joe Gibbs, Babylon Release The Chains. The album is more a dance album rather than a reggae/dancehall set. On ‘Long Road’ Junior incorporates several dance/house/hip hop influences, and we have to say it’s not to our liking, but there is no accounting for tastes, so you’ll have to judge yourself.”
Reggae Vibes

YouTube: Long Road, Shanty Town, World Cry, Stop This Crazy Thing, Banana boat man, Banana Boat Man (koloko riddim), Actions Speak Louder Than Words Remix, Babylon Release The Chain

Barrington Levy – Love Your Brother Man: The Early Years (2005)

Posted in Barrington Levy, Dancehall, Dub, Riddims, Studio One with tags , , , , on May 23, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“Since acquiring Trojan’s deep catalog, Sanctuary has done a very good to excellent job with the seminal reggae label when it comes to single-artist collections. With vibrant and informative packaging, a crucial track list, and some 12” mixes that are truly stunning, Love Your Brother Man falls into the ‘excellent’ category. Covering Barrington Levy’s early years, what you have here is the blueprint for dancehall singing that held on strong up until the gruff badmen made things much more frantic in the mid-’80s. Levy took the standard roots croon and added a bouncy hiccup to it that emphasizes emotion and allowed singers a totally new, less mannered way to show off their skills. Levy made delivery much more important than pitch control; here, you can listen to how it happened. Slang-filled, feel-good numbers intermingle with righteous spiritual tracks with Levy’s effervescence holding it all together. Familiar riddims from Henry Lawes and Alvin Ranglin fill the disc with one cut from producer Whitfield Henry hinting at Levy’s digital future. Later, a confident and more cultural Levy would have bigger hits than the ones here, but Love Your Brother Man is hungry and anxious Levy. Listening to him change dancehall music is fascinating.”

“This album showcases The Radics at their peak — sparse, dark and aggresive and it showcases Barrington’s distinctive vocal style which was so strong and influential as to go on to influence many up and coming ragga artists a few years later. Scientist, King Tubby’s and Henry ‘Junjo’ Lawes are behind these stripped down primal rhythms and conscious vocal styles. It is at the heart of it, a re-issue of Levy’s earlier ‘Bounty Hunter’ album with a few extras thrown in. ‘Collie Weed’ versions Slim Smith’s ‘My Conversation’ with its hypnotic piano hook. ‘Looking My Love’ versions Cocoa T’s excellent ‘Rocking Dolly’ and is chanted over the same Studio One rhythm. ‘Bounty Hunter’ is another high point, with its monolithic linear dub and enigmatic chant about being hunted for over 2,000 years — as Style Scott’s thunderous snares collapse, tense and reform in the echo chamber. This is good music — but Trojan do not dig up any deep vault rarities here, or obscure discomix 12’s here — which is a shame, because there are a number of rarities from Barrington Levy which do need re-issue.”
Reggae Vibes

YouTube: Love Your Brother Man – The Early Years

soundcloud: Love Your Brother Man: The Early Years Mix
01. Shaolin Temple (aka Pretty Looks) (0:00) 02. I’m Not In Love (1:50) 03. Run Come Ya (4:34) 04. Black Heart Man (7:44) 05. Full Understanding (9:50) 06. Wedding Ring (12:04) 07. Whom Shall I Be Afraid Of (12:43) 08. Skylarking (16:31) 09. Love of Jah (21:17) 10. Time is So Hard (24:18) 11. Jah Life (27:17) 12. Looking My Love (30:10) 13. A Yah We Deh (34:35) 14. Ragga Muffin (37:04) 15. Under Mi Sensi (40:45) 16. Jah is With Me (44:57) 17. Many Changes in Life (48:17) 18. Poor Man Style (50:44) 19. Mary Long Tongue (53:47) 20. Lost and Found (56:21) 21. Murderer (58:27) 22. Mind You Hurt My Mom (1:02:00) 23. Now-A-Days (1:02:29) 24. Revelation (1:02:58) 25. Captivity (1:06:32) 26. Collie Weed (1:07:15) 27. Look Youthman (1:08:16) 28. 21 Girls Salute (1:11:14)

Jammys – King Jammys Dancehall 1985-1989 Part1 (2011)

Posted in Dancehall, Dub, King Jammy with tags , , on May 20, 2014 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“The ‘Digital Revolution’ occurred in the Jamaican music industry by a single rhythm called ‘Sleng Teng’. The responsible person for the rhythm was King Jammy who was the owner and producer of the Jammys label. The label dominated the scene between year 1985-1989 and released vast numbers of material. Dub Store Records compiles the best of the 80’s heavyweight Dancehall from the Jammys catalogue. The collection consists of ‘Disc One: Vocals & Jeejay’ and ‘Disc Two: Instrumental Dub Version’. Each disc features popular songs and instrumental dub versions on ‘Hevenless’, ‘Love Punanny Bad’ and ‘Far East’ rhythm. They also include rare collector’s tunes like Anthony Johnson’s ‘Dancehall Vibes’ and some of them are first time to appear on CD. This selection is crucial for all Dancehall lovers.”
Zudrangma Records

“… In 1985, with the appearance of Wayne Smith’s ‘Sleng Teng’, Jamaica’s dancehall floor was suddenly thrown into wild and enthusiastic atmosphere. The responsible person to this ‘Sleng Teng’ rhythm was Lloyd James, who is now regarded as the king of Computerized, Digital reggae music for 80’s. He is commonly known as King Jammy and the owner and producer of Jammys label, which is considered as one of the most influential record labels during the 80’s. …”
Reggae Record

YouTube: Jammys – King Jammys Dancehall 1985-1989 Part 1