Tag Archives: digital

Message Music – Augustus Pablo – Pressure Sounds


Message Music
Augustus Pablo

Why oh why is the track listing in this order, a weak track and the dub as tracks one and two don’t help this get off to a very good start, and then….. Pablo entering the digikal age…. nice, but not earth shaking overall.

There are some tuf tuff tunes here, none of which I’d ever heard and more than a handful got me rocking to and fro in the shed from which I listen and write, it’s stricly a taste thing though, not a quality thing, so I urge you to check out some sound samples and consider a trip to your friendly online Reggae vendor (Hell all the high street ones are all but gone!). Strictly speaking it’s ‘a make your own mind up deal’, personally it’s a hit and sometimes miss affair, but don’t let me put you off… hell what do I know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, unless you’re Jordan of course and then beauty is a long forgotten memory doused by a tidal wave of silicon and the faint whiff of desperation….

Due release on 11/7/2011

Here follow the notes from Pressure Sounds for the release thussly sent as promo to the house of Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio and herwithineth shared with thee…. make up your own mind, but I’m listening to it now and if you loikes yer dub, then this one be for you…

In the 70s Augustus Pablo seemed to appear, like a vision from another world. His music was ethereal, evocative, and unique. There has not really been anyone like him, before or since. His music was deeply meditative, conjuring up all sorts of mystical and exotic images, but imbued with the dignity inherent in his Rastafarian faith. He now stands recognized as Jamaican music’s best-known lead instrumentalist.

By the mid 1980s Pablo had become a lot more ‘visible’, a lot less fashionable and a little of his ‘mystique’ had rubbed off. In the 1970s his own music sold in vast quantities for reggae product and he became a mainstay as an instrumentalist session player on many Jamaican recordings. In tandem with this session work he built a unique catalogue of music for a variety of his own labels such as Rockers, Rockers International, Message and Yard. ‘Message Music’ deals with Pablo’s instrumentals and dubs from around the mid-80s to the 90s as we think it is time to present a re-examination of this slightly overlooked period of his musical output.

As a creator of instrumental music he was often at odds with the spirit of the times, which was for the most part dominated by the sound and agenda of the Jamaican dancehall. That scene did not really suit ethereal instrumentals. Pablo, ever the individual, kept his own productions alive by producing roots vocalists and getting to grips with the new sounds at his disposal. He still played melodica when he felt the inspiration and on tracks such as ‘Missing Link’ and ‘Credential’ are superb ‘digital’ instrumentals. His dubs and and versions where stripped down mixes of his work with vocalists such as Yami Bolo, Junior Delgado and Willie Williams.

Dubs on this set such as ‘Revolution Dub’ the version of Delgado’s song ‘Forward Revolution’ deliver all the sonic force of Pablo’s classic 70s output. The Willie Williams song ‘Credential’ has one of Pablo’s great late period melodica instrumentals on the same rhythm. ‘Credential Instrumental’ is full of feeling and laid back blowing in that classic Pablo style so associated with his best music. Other dubs such as ‘A Java’ and ‘Butter Pon Dem Mouth’ are both re-workings of Pablo’s classic ‘Java’ instrumental. Digital in the best sense of the word. Both versions now back in demand with a younger audience possibly to young to remember the original!!

In essence this album is about an artist coming to terms with the digital or electronic age and still managing to maintain the main ingredient of what his music was all about. With the passing of time it’s time to recheck Pablo’s digital output and learn how he kept alive the inherent ‘message’ in his music. His musical spirit was second to none. A mighty artist and one of the few genuinely original instrumentalists to have emerged since the last golden age of jazz; he kept his musical legacy intact without resorting to gimmicks or becoming lost in what was undoubtedly a difficult time for him as an artist.

We have some rare Pablo photographs from David Corio as well as photographs from the Rockers International archive. Sleevenotes by Pete Holdsworth with 16 tracks spread over a superbly packaged cd or a double vinyl make this an essential album. There will also be 3 beautifully presented 45s taken from the album all especially re-mastered in custom made sleeves. The b sides from the 45s will not be on the album.

Classic music from one of the true greats of Jamaican Instrumental music.

No one who ever met this humble yet diffident character could ever doubt he was the ‘real thing’. He passed in May of 1999 but his music lives on.

TUNES ARE

A Java Instrumental (Version) – Augustus Pablo
Butter Pon Dem Mouth Version – Augustus Pablo
Ammagiddeon Dub – Augustus Pablo
Missing Link – Augustus Pablo
Missing Link Dub – Augustus Pablo
Credential Instrumental – Augustus Pablo
Culture Rule Dub – Rockers International Band
War Dub – Pablo All Stars
Run Come Yah Version – Augustus Pablo
Kidd Lane Specially – Augustus Pablo & Benbow
Anzania – Blacka Black – Augustus Pablo
Blacka Black Dub – Pablo All Stars
Revolution Dub – Pablo All Stars
Seven Winds From Zion – Augustus Pablo Isis
Addis Rock Dub – Rockers All Stars
Poor Mans Cry Dub – Rockers All Stars

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Watch How The People Dancing Unity Sounds From The London Dancehall 1986 – 1989


Below you will find a description of a recent release from Honest Jon’s records, UK Dancehall productions from the Unity label. having purchased this on the recommendation of some Reggae revived mates, I have given it three listens through since yesterday, and it’s a great buy. If like me you are a virtual newcomer to Digital, ie, late 80’s Dancehall then you may find it a little ‘out there’ for your tastes to date, it’s sparse, dry, heavy, minimal,… but you know if you heard it heavy and loud in a Dance just how good it would be. play it loud in your car, or convince the wife to go out for the evening you get it in the post!

The versions are probably surplus to requirements and it would have been better to just have more A-side originals to hear, as it’s unlikely I’ll be toasting over the rhythms, nevertheless it’s still worth the spondoolicks! honest Jon’s records really are an admirable outfit. Check them out!

The sleeve notes are great and I for one never knew of the connection with Unity and the late 80s early 90s phenomenon, the Ragga Twins. A duo that impressed me in my record store managing days in the early 90s.

They had some great Deejays and Sound men running with them, including the wonderfully entitled, ‘Speccy Navigator’.

HONEST JON’S RECORDS

Brilliant, haughty Jamaican avant-gardism, inspired by Jammy’s Sleng Teng explosion, rearing up at a Hackney crossroads opposite techno, hiphop, breakbeat and rave.

Presented as a next-generation companion to London Is The Place For Me: the mood is more defiant — a Jamaican secession from London — with themes of inner-city sufferation running alongside hymns to the dancehall and the herb superb.

With a forty-page booklet including a long interview with soundsystem- and label-boss Ribs, and many photographs. Brilliantly mastered by Moritz from Basic Channel.

‘There’s a whole heap of stuff that we did at that time, different even to the music, that we didn’t really know what we were doing, we just done it. This feeling on the records, we did that with everything we did, it was just the vibes that we were carrying then, it was all about one massive vibes. Even with the sound, we weren’t going to choose something that somebody else did, we definitely was going to choose something that somebody else didn’t use. We wanted to go out there and say, Yeah, this is the wickedest thing, everyone has to know, and nobody else can’t tell we no different. We pushed it that way, we carried on that way.’