Bless Up

Bless 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!).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sleepy Wonder - '88 Champion / Sluggy Ranks - Stamma Style 12'' [1988 I95 Original Pressing]

Hard to call on this one, as both sides get murdered, but think I gotta go with Sluggy on this one... Though I gotta say I am partial to sing-jay's, and am big fan of Ranks haha. Tuff digital riddim here on Park Height's subsidiary label. Don't believe this riddim appeared on any other releases at the time. Deadly Dragon later repressed these two onto a PH 7''. Lastly, I left version on the B side. Hotta fyah-

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

Big digi cut of the Junior Byles 1976 classic single. Byles story is a sad one, beset with bad luck and mental illness, yet brilliant roots tunes. It is only appropriate that another old school roots singer like Andy cut this cover (with Prince Jazzbo, an og deejay himself). This version has a very mellow and melancholic feel.

Singer Blue - Aids A Sin 7'' [1987 Tanto Original Pressing]

Jamaica, just like the rest of the world, got swept up in the Aids epidemic of the 80's, and there were a number of dancehall singles cut about the dangers of the disease. Unfortunately many associated this disease with the homosexual community, with some lyrics bordering hate crimes almost! This song tries to take a more subtle tone by not naming gays as the culprits, but still declaring the disease a sin and a dirty thing. Too bad too, as this is a catchy tune with cool label art... but not gonna be in your session selection for a crowd probably any time soon. Oh and... Pirates Will Be Delt With-

Sunday, March 16, 2014

More posts coming soon.
Been a while since I've posted... My bad!

Super Cat - Jah Paradise 7'' [198x 56 Hope Road Original Pressing]

Older Super Cat tune over mellow little riddim with him chatting about how Jah gave I and I a paradise to live in and how we've ruined it. Classic Cat sound and message before he sold out his music and character...

Adam and Eve

Just realized too how similar the 56 Hope Road and Don Ruben labels are with the Lion of Judah mirrored...
Mere coincidence or classic Jamaican pirating... I mean "borrowing"??

Tony Basco - Catch Di Dance 7'' [1989 Don Ruben Original Pressing]

Hard to find tune by unknown deejay Tony Basco over a nice likkle Kuff riddim. Say no more!

Little Kirk - I Don't Know / Little John - Cork Up Dancehall 12'' [198x Witty Original Pressing]

Double sided boom shot of a release by Whitfield Henry out of NYC. Classic 12'' with both Kirk and John at the top of their games... Kirky rides a booming Cuss Cuss riddim, while Johnny smoothly croons through a Screechy Across The Border riddim. I included the versions on both sides. Big up!

Singerman - Big Bad Sound 7'' [199x Love And Promotions Original Pressing]

Early 90's release on Taurus Riley's dad's label Love Promotion. Jimmy Riley's career started in the 60's as a member of the Uniques, but is best known for his roots work in the 70's. In the 80's he started producing dancehall tunes, and is still recording to this day with his son. The label was originally named Love And Promotions, but was later changed to Love Promotion. Here's a nice example of his production work with Singerman riding a sound killing Heavenless riddim.

Nitty Gritty - One Auntie Lulu 12'' [198x Crat Original Pressing]

Original copy of this much re-released rub a dub single. Tune also appears on Digikiller 12'' repress with White Mice on the flip, as well as on a Thriller label repress incorrectly titled Bandooloo with Carlton Livingston on the B side, and lastly, on the Powerhouse presents Tenor Saw And Nitty Gritty LP. Of course the tune was originally released by Donald Vassell on the Crat label as a 12'' single.

King Kong - No Call Me No Boops 7'' [198x Firehouse Original Pressing]

Generic little Tubby digi tune with Kong riding the brief Boops wave that Super Cat popularized in '86. This riddim is actually the same as Ain't Gonna Be No Loafter track that appeared on Kong's split LP with Anthony Redrose (Two Big Bull In A One Pen). Loafter was also released as a 7'' later by Honest Jon's, but was never released as a single originally. Oppositely, No Call Me No Boops never appeared on any of Kong's LP's, and was only released on 7'' by Tubby.