THE VERY BEST OF EEK-A-MOUSE VOL.2
WINSTON 'NINEY' HOLNESS / THE OBSERVERS
MUTINY / ZORRO / CUTTING SWORD
PK PK7 10" VINYL
Another surprise release from this excellent independent UK label and one with a story attached. The rhythm was engineered by Scientist at Channel One, voiced at the Black Ark with Scratch at the desk and returned to Channel One for the final mixdown by Ranking Barnabas. The fierce double drumming came from Sly Dunbar at the height of his creativity and the relentless brass from masters McCook and Ellis, and Niney himself conjured up another commentary with "Blood and Fire" style impact. All very well, but the lyrics were not well suited to the political climate of the time as Michael Manley's stewardship of the flakey J.A. economy was once more being questioned. Not so much banned as not commercially pressed up, only a few pre-releases made the streets. The confusion of the time is starkly revealed through this sprawling steppers mix that utilises the "Say Mama Say" rhythm from Dennis Brown's super-rare "Deep Down" set - to which Motion's recent "Seldgehammer Dub" was the companion.
JAH STITCH / BARRY BROWN / TUBBYS
RAGGA MUFFIN STYLE / POLITICIAN / TUBBYS KILLA MIX
ATTACK GOLD ATT10"-005B 10" VINYL
Famously revived by Blood & Fire on their indispensable "Original Ragga Muffin" Stitch compilation back in 1996, here the rhythm is revived and deep cut into ten inch vinyl then followed by Barry Brown's always contemporary "Politician" vocal version and more critically by one of King Tubby's tuffest outings on the dub. Jah Stitch, who cut his D.J. swagger on the Lord Tippertone and Black Harmony sound systems, was a younger meld of Big Youth and Prince Jazzbo and whose best work was turned out for Bunny Lee and Yabby You in the late seventies, and this is the best of his best. The "a" side of this unmissable repress is Horace Andy's "Money is the Root of All Evil" followed by an extended Don Carlos version.
IN FINE STYLE - ORIGINAL ROCKERS 7" AND 12" SELECTION 1973-1979
PRESSURE SOUNDS PSCD/LP38
PRINCE FAR I / DUB SYNDICATE
BEDWARD THE FLYING PREACHER / VERSION
SOUND BOY SB03 7" VINYL
Another offshoot imprint from On U Sound but this time with an open remit of old and new productions and not exclusively from the mind and fingers of Mr.Sherwood. Having said that one of its first releases is one of the most popular On U cuts from the beloved Far I, a tale even more captivating for its prosaic reading wherein Bedward proclaims his mystical aerial abilities followed by the inevitable doomed demo. The flip is Dub Syndicate's triumphant dub version better known as "Pounding System" from their old album of the same name. Other releases to follow includes vintage and newly recorded material from Junior Delgado, Mutabaruka, Omar Perry, Shara Nelson, Big Youth, Winston McAnuff and Carol Kalphat.
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS
RASTAMAN VIBRATION - DELUXE EDITION
TUFF GONG 440 063 446-2
THE RESTLESS MASHAITS
ADDIS DSR4057 7" VINYL
Their "Kingston Sessions" was one of last year's instrumental reggae highlights, albeit a retrospective for this Swiss band that has operated between Geneva and Jamaica since the early Nineties. "Africa" was the opening track from that album, appearing in its opening bars is the old vocal sample "It began in Africa .." with the gorgeously worked roots instrumental comes driven by the soaring horn arrangements of Dean Fraser and engineered by Hake "Bulby" York down at Mixing Lab - who also dubs up the tune on the flip. Previously a few of this band's singles had filtered through to quiet collectors, now there's no excuse to miss out on the deep cut quality embedded within this vinyl.
THE ROOTSMAN meets RANKING JOE
WALK WITH JAH / INSTRUMENTAL / JUNGLE MIX
THIRD EYE MUSIC TEMEP016
AFTER THE DUB
That Portugal is a European outpost becoming known for its love of reggae is a fact happily beyond logic but Última label boss José Gueddes proves as fine a selector as stalks the dancehall in this collection of contemporary dub dancers. The long-lost Big Bud reappear with 2000's Runaway, dzihan & Kamien's Smile is remixed by Aromabar, there's a stomping West Coast jig from Migs & Jelly and a liquid flute version by Butch Cassidy Sound System of the Red Hook label - inspired by the great beer of the same name? But pride of place is a throbbing disco mix of Prophecy Reveal by the Ballistic Brothers' where the vocal sample is lifted from Mr.Bojangles' DJ version of Culture's Two Sevens Clash - a cut found on the recent Pressure Sounds' Mighty Two dub set.
WILD DUB - DREAD MEETS PUNK ROCKER DOWNTOWN
SELECT CUTS EFA33417-2