Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tribute to Jah Woosh... Jah Woosh & Ras Ibuna - Diverse Doctrine

I just found out that deejay legend Jah Woosh, real name Neville Beckford, passed away last month. He is reported to have died in the UK of cancer on February 11th, aged 58. He is probably best known for his late-seventies Channel One recordings, the Religious Dread LP in particular, though his initial releases early in the decade for producers like Keith Hudson, Phil Pratt, Blacka Morwell and Rupie Edwards were perhaps his freshest and most original. His work stands alongside the music of contemporaries Big Youth, I-Roy, Prince Jazzbo, Dennis Alcapone, Jah Lloyd, Prince Hammer and Dillinger.

 After a long stint as MC on Prince Lloyd's sound system Jah Woosh recorded his first tune in 1971, Angela Davis, on Little Roy's Prophesy riddim by Blacka Morwell. His first LP, Jah Woosh, was released by Rupie Edwards in 1974 on Cactus. He went on to voice LPs and singles for several other producers (Leonard Chin, Dudley Swarby, Dread & Dread, Brad Osbourne, Sidney Crooks) while setting up in self-production. The first of several of his self-produced LPs, Dreadlocks Affair with the Mighty Cloud Band, came out in 1976. He went on to release many productions on his Original Music label into the 1990s, working with Larry Marshall, Reggae George, Bim Sherman, Trinity, Flabba Holt and Horace Andy among others. The 1978 12'' with Ras Ibuna - Diverse Doctrine/Pay Dem Dues was an absolute roots classic. A move to the UK in 1979 began a long lasting collaboration with the musical collective Creation Rebel, recording the Marijuana World Tour LP and playing live. A creative association was also formed with Adrien Sherwood's On-U Sound and Jah Woosh contributed to several projects with Creation Rebel, New Age Steppas and Singers & Players, alongside fellow chanters Prince Far-I and Prince Hammer.

By the late 80s disillusionment with digital music and the industry sparked a move to Ghana where Woosh continued to run Original Music and do local things. He was coaxed out of 'retirement' from time to time in the 1990s, doing some sound nights and stage shows in the UK and releasing an album with Mixman (Fire Inna Blackamix) in 1993. He continued to perform live right up until last year. I was lucky to check him live in London twice in the 1990s, sharing the stage with various 70s toasters and singers. He was a lively performer and treated the audience to some classic mid-late seventies roots n culture with obvious enjoyment.... 

(Grove Music GMDM7A-B) Ras Ibuna & Jah Woosh - Diverse Doctrine/Pay Dem Dues 12'' 1978.

Jah Woosh Special - mixtape

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lion D - The Burning Melody 2009

Lion D - The Burning Melody 2009. Its taken me a while to hear about the conscious deejay Lion D from Italy but its been worth the wait as this debut album is serious!! I've been playing it more or less on loop for a week now and think its got to be the best set by an MC since NiyoRah's Purification Session or Norris Man's Home and Away in 2006. Its also the first album by the Italian label Bizzarri Records.

Lion D is a cultural deejay with original delivery and vocal style similar at times to Jah Mason, Fanton Mojah, Pressure, NiyoRah and occasionally Capleton. Most of the 21 tracks here deal with roots and reality and the focus is on Rastafari, unity, peace & love, struggle, higher consciousness. Tune like Show More Love, Love Is The Only Way, Rise, Money, Good Herb, Stay Conscious and the single Nah Like Da Way Deh. There are also four 'conscious lovers' tunes, including a nice duet with Miss Linda. Musically the focus is on bright, skanky one-drop and new roots riddim with a 'live' feel. Good mix of original and known rhythm tracks with the European preference for rocksteady-Wailers-style riddims. Good versions of Baba Boom, Cassandra & I Shot the Sheriff (on Rise - a wicked combination with Lutan Fyah). Nah Like Da Way Deh has an excellent, long saxophone dub, its just a shame there weren't more live horns on show throughout. The album rounds off with four decent bashment selections. To get a taste check the DJ Octa Lion D Mixtape here.

The Burning Melody is a brilliant first effort and landmark European release. I can't wait to hear Lion's anticipated second CD, Reap What You Sow, due out April 2011.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trinity - Around The World 1983 (Yard International LP 001)

Trinity - Around The World 1983 (Yard International LP 001). Very hard to find LP by Trinity on red vinyl. First release on the UK label. Recorded at Channel 1 and King Tubbys Studio, engineered by Jammys and Scientist, mixed in the UK at Black Star. Backed by core members of The Revolutionaries & Roots Radics. Although this was released in 1983 the Sly & Robbie riddims seem to pre-date those of the Radics and the whole set sounds older, maybe 1980-81? Great rolling steppers style rhythms and some off the wall delivery from the deejay. Produced by Jah Woosh.
192kbps-43MB. Thanks to Iain for the rip.

Monday, March 21, 2011

2YK Lovers Bashment Mix

2YK Lovers Bashment Mix
 Irie collection of nineties lovers rock and nice-time reggae dancehall hits. Big tune like I Believe I Can Fly, Saddest Day, I Wish, Double Trouble, Love Me Truly and Junior Kelly's massive If Love So Nice. An early outing for Yogi aka Courtney John with Its Not Too Late.

CD1: Riddim like Far East (Penthouse), Real Rock (Xterminator, Steelie & Cleavie & Stone Love), Joyride (Madhouse), Stir It Up (Mrosh & Bean Stalk), Mean Girl/I Know The Score (Gussie P) and Penthouse's rocking cut to Tempo. Late night blues vibes from Lloyd Brown on Matumbi's Point Of View.

CD2: Excursions on the African Beat (Stone Love, Fat Eyes, Penthouse), Digital B's Drum Song & Undying Love, More & More (Zulu), various cuts of Rope In and Penthouse's Tonight.  
Continuous mix. 159 minutes total.

DJ Kyle Supreme Revival Session

DJ Kyle Supreme of Jamaica mixes up classic Studio One, Treasure Isle and a few Trojan selections inna fine style. An essential blend of hit riddim and obscure tunes mostly from the late 60's and early 70's. Featuring: Joseph Hill (the original Behold), The Ethiopian, Lone Ranger, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Slim Smith, Don Evans & The Paragons, Dobby Dobson, Dennis Brown, The Sensations, Freddie McKay, The Silvertones and many more... Highly rated. 34 minutes.
Nuff respect DJ Kyle... pure irie vibes the man a promote!
dj kyle on myspace

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wise Man Riddim - Tenor Saw - To Love Somebody

Real Tenor Saw classic. Mix up on the Wise Man riddim 1988, Produced by Digital English and Barry Dread. Originally on the Night Life Posse label, reissued on Sip A Cup. A & B sides here with version; To Love Somebody, followed by the hit (Tenor Saw's last in his lifetime) Chill Out, Chill Out with General Doggie (Top Cat) and Uglyman's Talk Innit... BAD. 
9 minutes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sad news.... Smiley Culture dies age 48 - RIP SMILEY

Smiley Culture has died during a police drugs raid on his home. He is reported to have died from self-inflicted wounds when officers swooped on his home in east Surrey, looking for cocaine. The 48-year-old deejay is alleged to have requested to make a cup of tea before being taken in for questioning and then, while in the kitchen, stabbed himself fatally in the chest. He did have form; last September he had appeared before magistrates charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine though this news has come as a shock to most people.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission watchdog has been called in to investigate. The circumstances of Smiley's death in police custody “leaves Surrey Police with a lot of questions to answer,” blogged former Mayor of London’s Director for Policing and Equalities Lee Jasper. ''Surely Smiley was handcuffed as in normal practice during any raid to prevent the suspect disposing of evidence, harming officers or him. How is it that he managed to stab himself in handcuffs? Secondly how did he get hold of a knife when surrounded by police officers? He would have been closely monitored and guarded by police officers and an officer would have supervised his every move. Thirdly how is it, if we accept he did stab himself (and I have severe doubts about that) how is it he is surrounded by officers and yet they could not prevent him from doing so?” It will be interesting to see what, if anything, comes of this inquiry.

Smiley Culture came out of the mighty Saxon sound system and Fashion label at the start of the 80s, alongside man like Papa Levi, Asher Senator, Tippa Irie and Daddy Colonel, and was an originator of the cockney fast chat style. He was the first British MC to get recognition for toasting in a British accent with his UK reggae hit Cockney Translation on the Real Rock. His 1984 pop chart success Police Officer was an tongue-in-cheek autobiographical tune about his getting caught in possession of sensi but let off when the bobby realised just who he was. It was great to hear dancehall (and the Answer riddim) on the telly and everywhere. It came with a crucial video too! Tippa Irie followed up Smiley's breakthrough with some chart success though mainstream interest in UK dancehall proved to be short-lived and little has been heard from Smiley Culture on record since the mid-80s (he was MC for various other sound systems - Buchanan, Black Harmony, Frontline & Coxsone Outernational). Smiley and the Saxon posse are rightly credited, however, with being among the most influential originators of the UK urban music scene and Smiley Culture's tunes are well remembered.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Old Time Something Come Back Again - Ska, Rocksteady & Revival Remakes 2009

Old Time Something Come Back Again. That classic old-time rocksteady revival sound hit BIG in 2009! A balance of good-time party vibes and roots & reality tunes here, nowadays artists and veterans. Fresh re-licks of enduring riddims like Rocksteady (Chet), The Whip (Luv Messenger), 007-Shanty Town (Pow Pow), Rudeboy, A Message to You (Supersonic Sounds), Sweetie Come Brush Me (God Bless), Love Line (G-String) and Show Love (Iration). Revisits Cherry Oh Baby (Digital B & Shocking Vibes) from the 90s... Version a fall like rain... Mojo Morgan makes a solid solo contribution on Rude Bwoy while Taxi Records' singer Courtney John takes us way back.....

Continuous mix. 79 minutes. Relist