Bless Up

Bless Up

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Blessed Holidays And End Of Another Year To All!

My crazy schedule is taking a mini break for the holidays, so will be posting some new stuff up in next week or two. I'm also hoping to reup all the dead links from the blog's archives. Any comments or suggestions are welcome to, I appreciate the feedback. May even entertain the idea of taking some requests...
Best wishes-

Stan Ryck - Easy My Yout / Stan Ryck and General Levy - Easy My Yout "Just Cool" Remix 7'' [1991 Inphyniti Original(?) Pressing]

Killer early-90's, hip hop inspired anthem big upping the conscious yout! The A Side has Ryck solo, and the flip features a remix featuring Levy chatting (not as good as solo). The 12'' release of this also has a slightly different mix of the Ryck tune. Lastly, I've also seen this 7'' with a red label, instead of a white one like my copy... I assume they are both original pressings, but could be wrong. Ryck had a few other releases in the mid-90's on labels like Digital B, but that's about it. I heard somewhere that he had a reputation in the recording industry for being hard to work with... but then again caan trust labba rumors. Either way, this is a deadly tune and a nice little addition to anyone's collection!

Horace Andy - Curfew 7'' [198x Ujama Original Pressing]

From a historical standpoint, I was very intrigued by this 7'' when I first picked it up. As most know, Jazzbo was a deejay in the roots golden years, later starting Ujama in the 1977 to begin producing. There are some sparse roots releases on the label, and by the early 80's Jazzbo began incorporating a dancehall feel into his growing number of releases. As an old chatter, and forefather of the dancehall sound, Jazzbo was already a step ahead of the game when the digital takeover began. This release here is a perfect example of that. Probably cut around 1983, it still has a pre-digi instrumental, yet has digital elements and a dancehall mood. On top of this, the tune side features one of the older 70's style labels, while the version side has the newer 80's label design. It's like this record can't decide who it is... Yo, what you claim holmes?!

(Version not uploaded unless requested)
Sanchez - Love Is A Funny Feeling 7'' [1991 Exterminator Original Pressing]

Silky smooth singing by Sanchez over a nice digi update of Promised Land riddim (Dennis Brown). Exterminator had a big part in the early-mid 90's roots revival sound, though Fattis Burrell kept a distinct dancehall feel to it. Many classic roots riddims were digitally updated, like this tune for example, or Augustus Pablo's Java (see Sanchez - Never Keeping Secrets). Many big name modern singers also first blew up through Exterminator, such as Luciano, Sizzla, and Jah Cure.

Richie Davis - Sensi Boom / You Ha Fe Cool 12'' [198x Unity Original Pressing]

Nice likkle mellow double sided UK release out of the Unity stable. "Nicotine" Davis with an anti-coke, pro-ishans message over Ba Ba Boom riddim on the A side. The flip is mislabeled as Talk About We (that's why it says Side One), but is actually the song You Ha Fe Cool. You can check the same riddim on Kenny Knots - Ring My Number, and Mikey Murka - Back Your Automatic. Unity had a very original style that really sets them apart from other dancehall of that time, both ah yard and abroad. The man behind it all was Robert "Ribs" Fearon, who both ran the sound and produced the studio recordings himself. As unique as they are, this explains why a lot of the Unity riddims have such similar basslines and effects (not a bad thing!). Versions are also included on both of the rips.

Robert French - Rebel Girl 7'' [198x Black Solidarity Original Pressing]

Unfortunately my copy of this is a bit worn... regardless you can appreciate this track, especially if you've never heard it! Killer instrumental by Ossie Thomas on this underrated tune. Believe it has been repressed, regardless this one needs more exposure. This is a one-away riddim, as far as I know... haven't heard any other releases on it. Big up Ffrenchy... make that girl your wifey!

Andrew Dan - Temporary Lover 7'' [1988 Classic Sounds Original Pressing]

Another obscure artist... another boom shot! Know nothing about Dan other than that he also released the incredibly sought after Classic Rise Again (7'' also on Classic Sounds) that goes for hundreds of dollars. This is the lesser known (and more affordable), but still fresh, little brother of that song. As far as I can tell, these may be the only releases he ever had. Killer singjay a-la-Michael Jackson on this one... little crackling on recording but it easily shines through. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hey All, as I'm sure most of you have noticed this blog has been neglected for a few months now. I am back in school getting my teaching credential, as well as still working at a school, and interning at another one. I'm grinding like 60-70 hours a week right now, and just don't have time to stay on top of the blog. I'm not throwing in the towel yet, as by the summer my schedule will go back to normal, and I should be able to start posting some more then. Until then, there may not be any new posts... just being honest. Please don't give up hope, I will put an effort to revive this in a few months!

It was also just brought to my attention that Fileswap seems to have deleted all my files. I will start with the time-consuming task to reup the links on the different free server... was thinking maybe Zippyshare. Does anyone have any suggestions for good file hosting sites that won't have a problem with me uploading hundreds of files on to them? Once I figure that out, I will commence. Please just be patient, this will take a few weeks I'm sure.

Update Log... The Following Files Have Been Reuped:

- All files from July 2013 - December 2014 *

(More to come!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mikey Jarrett - Vicey Verse / Satta George - Watch The Women Them A Fight Fe Man / Skie Warrington - It A Road Block 12'' [198x 14 Karat Original Pressing]

Big time triple tuned 12'' following up Scion Success' Settle Them A Settle riddim (also on 14 Karat, and posted on the blog earlier). The first side features Jarrett (who produced release and owned the label) chatting, and Satta sing jaying, about the opposite sex (very original!). But these are just the warm ups opening for the flip side, with Skie absolutely massacring the riddim with his sweet, conscious singing. Version comes on Skie's side as well. Get your hands on both these big releases though if you can!

Anthony Redrose - Pension 7'' [1986 Temper Rose Original Pressing]

Weird little tune by Redrose about saving up for when you get old and not squandering your rainy day fund. Only release I've ever seen on Redrose's short-lived label, though I'm sure there must be a few more obscure 7'' out there (I hope!). Instrumental sounds generically mid-80's Firehouse style and is on the Father Jungle Rock riddim.

Wayne Palmer - Trash And Brok 7'' [198x Waterhouse Original Pressing]

Funny commentary about guys looking "trash" (flashy) at the dance but then being broke cuz they spent all their cash on clothes and accessories! Materialism is not a new trend, though it's definitely being taken to new heights these days. Little too rub-a-dubby a beat from Tubby, for my liking, this time though.

Dennis Brown - The Exit 12'' [198x Unity Original Pressing]

Thundering version of Screechy Across The Border by roots crooner Brown. Great tune, but to me, DB just never sounded like he felt too comfortable with the digi riddims, which probably explained his low output in the 80's-90's (compared to earlier in his career). This was also the title track from a Jammy's LP, though was only released as a single in the UK through Unity. Sorry for the beat up copy and poor pic!

Professor Nuts - Kangal A Knock 7'' [1997 Kangal Original Pressing]

Classic cut of Sleng Teng riddim by chatting teacher Nuts bigging up the Kangal label (and sound?). Love the blatant ripping off of Kangol hats brand by Burtland Dixon... you know, just misspell it with an "A" and no copyright infringement right?? Goes to show how lax things were back then! Either way, we can all agree that in the 80's, Kangol hats and Kangal records both knocked!

Frankie Paul - Song Of Freedom / Gimme That Potion 7'' [1995 Exterminator Original Pressing]

I remember first hearing (and falling in love with!) the title track from the Rough Inna Town LP (on Exterminator) by Luciano and Cocoa Tea... a great blend of dancehall and digital roots. Though the LP was released around 2000, some of the songs were actually Phillip Burrell tunes that had been recorded in the mid-late 90's. While some of those songs made it to 7'' and 12'' releases, I don't think the title track did (I've never seen an og press available). I didn't think much of the riddim though, until I stumbled upon the wicked Song Of Freedom by Paul. Not only that, but I also found 2 other huge chunes on the riddim: INI Kamoze's Jah Never Fail I (on Sound Klik) and Gregory Isaacs' Same Time I Lost You (on Exterminator)! I don't have any of the records except for the FP one, which I share here with you. It's interestingly enough a double sided 7'' release (rare for dancehall), with the bubbly  Potion on the flip. You can also find these two tracks on the 1996 Frankie Paul CD named Freedom (on RAS label).

Echo Minott - Been So Long 7'' [198x Music Master Original Pressing]

Nice minor-chord adaption of Anita Baker's 1986 r&b slow jam. Cool likkle riddim by Witty too!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dave Robinson - Have To Go Thru 12'' [1985 Leggo Original Pressing]

Ridiculous cut of Tempo riddim by little recorded singer Robinson. From what I can garner, most of his small catalog of releases date back to the 70's... yet all of a sudden this massive anthem of his emerged in the mid 80's. Only the second release by the then new Leggo label, this tune is a much sought after 12''. Re-pressed by Digikiller a little while ago, glad to hear this release getting the recognition it deserves. Audio shines through nicely on my rip, but sorry for the crappy quality of pic!

Love the message here, always reminding us to be undeterred by whatever obstacles life throws at us. If you listen to the lyrics, Robinson starts of by saying "I have to go thru", but by the end he's saying "I will go thru!" Not sure why this reminded me of him, but still want to pay tribute to a true San Francisco legend, Robin Williams. Rest In Paradise-

More excuses, more lagging, but more tunes coming next week I promise...
Johnny Clarke - Teach Them The Right 7'' [198x Firehouse Original Pressing]

I love conscious dancehall songs, especially when they focus on bigging up the likkle youtman. This is an absolute scorcher by Tubby and classic roots singer Clarke. Wicked one a way riddim with uplifting lyrics make this an awesome release. The tune though is surprisingly under rated amongst digi heads it seems, even though it also appeared on King Tubby's Fast Car LP and as a Waterhouse 12'' as Teach The Youths Right. 

Sugar Minott - Wrong Move 7'' [1986 Skengdon Original Pressing]

Kenneth 'Skengdon' Black had many a big hit with all the top dogs of the golden years... Super Cat, Yami Bolo, Gregory Isaacs, Chaka Demus, etc... A big part of that was due to having the keyboard legend Jackie Mittoo at his side. This tune however was produced by Sugar himself as a favor to Black for letting him use his studio on one of his many trips to Miami to secretly cut dubplates for the Youth Promotion clashes. Probably the only dancehall tune I've ever heard use a digital harp effect, but of course Sugar pulls it off smoothly!

Andrew B - Life In The Ghetto 7'' [1989 New Name Muzik Original Presing]

Huge digi roots tune by Andrew B (or Bees) on Castro Brown's label. New Name released a lot of traditional dancehall in the early 90's, but as songs like this can attest, they were also early pioneers of the digi roots sound. Bees has recorded sporadically over the years, starting in the late 80's, briefly joining Black Uhuru in the late 90's, and still releasing music intermittently to this day. This tune, as well as Struggle And Strive (also on New Name) were repressed by Digikiller a few years ago.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Wayne Smith - My Sweet Love / Tonto Irie - Murder Commit 12'' [198x Unity Original Pressing]

Ohh man this is another rare record for you guys! Though both sides are produced by King Jammy, they were only released on this Unity 12'' in the UK. Side A features a blistering cut of Sammy Levi's Come Off The Road (also on this blog), which to me reminds of the E20 riddim. For examples of that riddim see Sammy Dread's Warrior on Witty, and Wayne Smith's original E20 cut on the Sleng Teng LP by Greensleeves. Side B is equally ruff, featuring deejay Tonto Irie massacring a digital version of Every Tongue Shall Tell riddim. Irie spins a story about trying to go on tour to Paris but the plane crash lands... and when he's taken to the operating table they discover he has a bad case of reggae mylitis (see King Kong tune on Sunset label) which causes him to have big lyrics from his head to his schlong. Hilarious and brilliant tune, though he really just ends up repeating the same verse twice in a row. For some strange reason only Side A included the version (which I've left on for you here). Enjoy!

White Mice - Ambition 7'' [199x Intelitec Original Pressing]

Thundering cut of Billy Jean riddim inna early 90's stylee. Released around same time as Junior Delgado's Mona Lisa (also on this blog). Big tune!

King Everald - Your Love 7'' [1988 Vena Original Pressing]

Nice likkle bubbly lovers rock by Everald / Everall. Only tune he ever cut for Fattis Burrell, I believe.

Wayne Palmer - Hold You Corner 7'' [198x Firehouse Original Pressing]

During the peak of dancehall in the 80's, everyone was trying to make a name for themselves as an entertainer, and thus taking stage names to be recognized. Some were silly nicknames and slick sounding titles, while others were meant to sound like real names (example: Paul Blake became Frankie Paul). I do not know if Wayne Palmer was his name given to him at birth, but it is the stage name later used to cut some massive records. Palmer unfortunately had a rather generic name, and coupled with a low volume of work released, the artist has flown under the radar of a lot of reggae fans. Digi collectors though are well aware of him, particularly his work with King Tubby and also Hugh Redman James. Here is probably his hardest tune by Tubby (other than Hell In A Town), though sadly my copy has seen better days. Either way check it out!

Wayne Palmer - Yu Nu Remember 7'' [1985 Original Pressing]

Oooooh weeee this is a tuff digi chune! Wicked one a way cut of Stalag that almost doesn't resemble the original riddim at all. This one was later repressed by Dub Store in their Redman International collab release, where 12 of Hugh James biggest tunes were re-released. Of those re-released set, you can find the original copies of these on my blog: Wayne Palmer - Yu Nu Remember, Puddy Roots - When I Release, Admiral Tibett - New Tactics, Dave Bailey - Concrete Jungle, and Tony Tuff - Careless People.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

More coming in next few days... stay tuned!

Tenor Saw - Ring The Alarm 7'' [198x Techniques Original Pressing]

One of a few songs (see also Wayne Smith's Sleng Teng, and Anthony Redrose's Tempo) that helped start the digital explosion in Jamaica. This bad boy on the Stalag riddim completely stormed the island and catapulted Tenor to stardom. Though Pumpkin Belly was Saw's first hit, this reworking of Sister Nancy's Bam Bam was even bigger. Originally written for the famous 4 Sound Clash of 1985 for Youth Promotion, it was swooped by up Winston Riley and released on his Techniques label. This tune has influenced countless artists/singles from Sublime, to Alborosie, to Nicki Minaj (unfortunately!). Oh, this is also featured on Riley's Stalag 17, 18, and 19 LP.

Hopeton Lindo - Slaughter 12'' [199x Two Friends Original Pressing]

Murderous sound boy tune by the one and only Lindo, featuring a pounding instrumental, killer lyrics, and his trademark whistling! This guy appears on Lindo's The Word LP on Greensleeves/VP records. Guess this was like a promo single for that album, though I was able to find an immaculate copy of this 12'' years later still sealed.

Melody Beecher - Diamonds And Thrills 7'' [1987 Nura Original Pressing]

Rough but pop sounding single from female singer Beecher, that does not appear on either of her 2 LP's. Nura is known better for it's pre-digi dancehall material from the early 80's, but this is an example of their foray into later styles. This one is produced by Paul Beecher, (husband/father/relative?) of Melody, and preaches the message of experiences > material things. As a vinyl collector, sometimes I have to remind myself of that when record hunting!

Sanchez - Around The Corner 7'' [1990 Jammys Original Pressing]

Killer little 90's tune produced by the original King James (no disrespect to Lebron!). Sanchez does his usual smooth sing jay crooning over the same riddim as Robert Lee's My Life Is Like A Dream. Not sure which label that tune showed up on as a single originally (possible LP comp appearance?), but it was later repressed on Digital Ego.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Echo Minott - I Am Back 7'' [1988 Jammys Original Pressing]

Wicked one away cut by Echo that doesn't appear on any of his LP's. In fact don't think this riddim appeared anywhere else, though King Kong has claimed that he (and a few others) voiced tracks over this riddim but were never ultimately released. One of those artists, by the way, was Wayne Smith, who just passed away a few weeks ago RIP! This tune here appears originally on 7'' for Jammys, 12'' for Live And Love, and repressed by Dub Store (slightly different mix).

Singing Melody - Giving You Up 7'' [199x Two Friends Original Pressing]

Melody was one of those singers whose style was perfectly matched for Two Friends productions, characterized by upbeat, dark, and pop sounding riddims. This is a great example of their material at its best. Much like Little Kirk, Melody started as a strictly dancehall singer, but later in his career became more of a sappy/commercial r&b artist. Regardless, he had some tunes (like this one) that are definitely worth picking up! For example, check out his duo with Mikey Melody (My Favorite Lady), also on Two Friends.

Sister P - Big Bout Ya 7'' [198x Black Beauty Original Pressing]

Early digi release on independent label best known for it's Delroy Melody singles. I don't know much about Sister P, as she did not release much, but she sounds like a Sister Nancy impersonator on this tune. There weren't many female deejays in the 80's, and unfortunately they did not have the most creative names either. Many of them went by Sister or Lady (sometimes interchangeably) something or another... so you have artists with names like Lady Patra, Lady  G, Lady Anne, Sister Charmaine, etc. This makes it hard to distinguish some artists, so Sister P could perhaps have changed her name later to Lady P (see clash video below... not my clip). When it comes to female digi deejays though, I think Junie Ranks had to be my fave!

Check out this classic clash vid from Sting '89!

Tony Tuff - Careless People 7'' [1988 Redman International Original Pressing]

A classic fast paced tune by og singer Tony Tuff. Kind of sounds like a faster/darker version of Koloko riddim pioneered by Hugh James. In this tune, Tuff criticizes the loafters with no skills and manners that can't even do simple tasks like washing, cooking, cleaning... and nicing up the scene! This 7'' was later repressed by Japanese based Dub Store, who did a series on the Redman label to bring to light some incredibly hard to find digi killers from the golden years. 

Frankie Paul and Papa San - Buck Wild 7'' [198x Super Power Original Pressing]

Can't quite place the riddim on this release but it has a old school James Bond 007 theme feel to it. Originally released on Black Scorpio label and 30 Headley Ave (Scorpio subsidiary) too. Not too many other tracks released on this riddim, though one stand out is Mikey Melody's Good Loving. Either way this is a nice (and wild!) duet by two classic dancehall dons. Version included here...

Lukie D - Try Me 7'' [199x Chris Original Pressing]

A rumbling bass Tempo version from the mid 90's. Though Lukie D is probably better known for some of his crossover American style dancehall with Miami based rapper Uncle Luke's label, he had some big traditional dancehall tunes (like this one). Also check out his acapella collab with Frankie Paul and Axeman called My Sound Is The Answer on the Duke label. That is a much sought out and rare tune... and if anyone has a spare copy (unlikely!) that they are interested in trading/selling, please get at me.

Barry Spiritual, Neil Diamond, Major Black, and Little Rush - Coke A Nuh The Thing 7'' [199x Pills Posse Original Pressing]

This is just a bizarre release all around. We have 4 unknown deejays rapping about the dangers of cocaine on a label named after a different form of abusable substances (pills). Song also features snorting sounds and Shinehead inspired deliveries. Tune is based on Bruce Lee's Sounds Of The Africans 7'' on the Tagarus label (yard deejay, not the martial arts legend). Overall though still an enjoyable song that rode the anti-drug wave of conscious dancehall in the late 80's-early 90's. Unlike some other similar releases at the time though, this one also lumps ganja in with the plethora of evil substances... which goes to show the disconnect between the later dancehall generations and the 70's based Rastafarian/Roots sound that preceded it.

Daddy Screw - Original Dimbo Bucket 7'' [199x Magic Sword Original Pressing]

Sometimes I simply do not understand where JA slang comes from... for example how a "dimbo bucket" translates as a stuck up, lazy woman. As demeaning as that sounds, this song actually is promoting that non dimbo bucket women should be proud of themselves. Anyway, Screw (not to be confused with deejay Jah Screw of Time One label) rides a nice Duck riddim, which I'm not normally a fan of but it works out here. Digging the label art here too. Big up-

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Scion Sashay Success - Young Africans / Settle Them A Settle 12'' [198x 14 Karat Original Pressing]

Mad mad double sided NYC release by Scion on Mikey "Karat" Jarrett's label. Both sides are absolute monster digi roots tunes with heavy lyrics and ridiculous instrumentals. Jah Life also released these on a 12'' together, and Digikiller repressed Young Africans with Madoo's Lose Respect on the flip (same riddim). Sluggy Ranks also cut a version of Settle Them A Settle on his LP named Settle Sluggy, though it comes nowhere close to the original. I've included the versions on both sides of this classic digikal release.

Colourman - Skin Ago Peel 7'' [198x Youth Promotion Original Pressing]

Colourman was a bible-preaching, conscious chatting deejay best known for his Kick Up Rumpus single (and LP) over the Revolution riddim. He was originally discovered by Sugar Minott at a dance session in the Manchester (JA) countryside, and was brought onto Youth Promotion where he toured with them extensively. Unfortunately he was quite under-recorded by Sugar, and cut only a few tunes for him. This General Ah General riddim release here is the first single Colour ever recorded, a few years before he released his two LP's on the Creation label with Cashima Steele's production. He eventually moved to England (aka didn't go back ah yard at end of ah UK tour), and almost entirely dropped out of the music scene.

Mikey Sweet - Is There A Sound To Test 7'' [1991 Amazon Original Pressing]

War tune fi sure! Ruff little guy here by Mikey (not Mickey as it's spelled on this 7'') Sweet. Love how this tune starts off until he gets into the Frere Jacques inspired chorus. The appearance of European/American nursery rhymes (lyrics and melodies) in dancehall has always been a turn off for me. Obviously a reflection of the educational and social upbringing of these artists, it does not feel very organic and fit in well in the music. This tune just manages to squeak by because the rest of the song is so solid!

Horace Gracie - You're My Lover / Icho Candy True Love 12'' [198x Cash Bound Original Pressing]

Technically not a true digital release, this 12'' has a nice dancehall bassline and a little bit of synth... which is good enough for me! Don't know much about the first side, but the flip is a crazy cut of Drifter ridden with Icho's distinct vocal style. Cashbound was an American label held down by Steven Cespedes, and released some killer material in the 80's, including the digi classic We Rule by Frankie Paul.

Triston Palmer - Tek Set Pon Me 7'' [198x Black Solidarity Original Pressing]

Sweet Solidarity tune by Palmer (or sometimes spelled Tristan Palma) over the same riddim as Michael Palmer's String Up The Sound System. No relation between the two Palmer's, and in this case, think that Michael's version is tuffer. Black Solidarity was originally started in the late 70's by Ossie Thomas, though later got production help from Phillip Frazier and the young Triston during the dancehall boom of the 80's (like this tune for example!).