New Dennis Bovell Dub set,… freshly, from Pressure Sounds, Check it…
Just sent the promo for the latest upcoming Pressure Sounds release, and lovin’ it, lovin’ it, lovin’ it.. Dennis Bovell is a Dubster almighty, ignore at your aural peril… simple as.. currently rinsing my ears out on the way to work and the way back home..
An excerpt from the upcoming releases liner notes…
Following recent neck surgery Dennis Bovell was under heavy medical discipline, amongstother restrictions there was to be strictly no playing of the bass. Now, more than any musician,the bass player has an almost physical connection to his chosen instrument, umbilical even,so the prospect of no vibration sensation was going to be difficult to deal with for therecovering Dennis. Not one to let such news impede his onward path Dennis came up with theidea of returning to unfinished work in an attempt to distract attention from his enforced low-end bass cold turkey.
Down in his musical lock-up lay a stack of boxes containing old 2 inch multi-track analogue master tapes, some dating back to the late seventies; Dennis selected some likely looking titles that never had dub treatment and arranged some time in Neil Fraser’s(the Mad Professor)studio as he knew the Prof had every gadget under the sun, there he”baked”tapes ready for digital conversion via an Alesis HD24 a 24 track, 48kHz hard diskrecorder rescuing the sounds from an inevitable oxidisation process that comes with age. At the mixing end Dennis utilises a whole range of outboard gear from old analogue to the latestdigital sets, explaining the unique and separate end sounds of the dubs presented on thealbum.
Of the twenty odd tunes recovered, sixteen are featured on this set, like dubbing on a digiOuija-board they date from the late seventies through the mid eighties. It was at this time thatdeejay of the day I Roy had first come to the UK to tour, and like all visiting Jamaican stars hepicked up a local band, it just happened to be Matumbi led by the young Dennis Bovell whospent most of his time between the ages of 19 and 25 working with that most intelligent andprolific of toasters. He even recalls I Roy’s first UK appearance being double booked sold outdates at both Battersea and Action Town Halls! Of course, the pair went on to record the albumWhap’n Bap’n together for Virgin, an early reggae rap set that the deejay insisted appear underhis real name Roy Reid, lest his roots credentials were impaired.
I’ve got a promo copy for the car and have particularly enjoyed Ressurection’s – Four Point Plan, apparently Ressurection featured a young Rob Smith on guitar, he’s better known now as Smith of Smith N’ Mighty, reknowned remixers. Like a lot of good things, he hails from Bristol.
Bristol is and was one of the important musical and particularly Jamaican musical hotspots in the UK, and alongside Birmingham and London is was where it was all happening back in the day, check out your intro into the Bristolian affect on this release, heartily recommended.
Here is what the label says about it:
THE BRISTOL REGGAE EXPLOSION 1978-1983
Released on CD, VINYL and DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
Release date 21st February 2011
From Pop to Punk, the late seventies and early eighties saw a huge explosion in the number of local bands as more and more people thought they’d give it a go, new studios and independent labels weren’t far behind and Reggae wasn’t going to be left out of the musical mix.
If the majors were even aware of Bristol they showed minimal interest and it was left to the bands themselves and the handful of indie labels to document Bristol’s contribution to what was then a vibrant UK Reggae scene. Working on tight budgets and with no money for marketing campaigns local bands managed to release a small, but steady flow of vinyl, mostly pressed in tiny quantities and often sold direct to fans at gigs, these records, although cherished by those who own them, and sought by those in the know, have been largely ignored by the wider music industry.
Fortunately Bristol music has its own champion in the shape of Bristol Archive Records, a label with a mission to share our great musical heritage with the world, “The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983” is the first and only attempt to document the local Reggae scene from the late seventies until the early eighties. With the exception of the Black Roots tracks none of the recordings have ever been reissued and all were originally released before CD had been launched, so this is their debut in the digital format.
The music itself reflects the dominance of the Roots style in Bristol, even today Roots is by far the most popular type of Reggae in both the retail and live scenes locally, Black Roots live up to their name and show why they were the equal of any UK Reggae band in their day, Talisman, Restriction and 3D Production follow in their Roots footsteps, but a real highlight of this release is the inclusion of the ultra rare “Africa Is Our land” from Joshua Moses, a UK Roots classic. Bristol wasn’t all about Roots though and the other tracks follow a more mellow template, dealing with love and relationships, both Talisman and Joshua Moses show another side to their music and are joined by tracks from Buggs Durrant, The Radicals and Sharon Bengamin who’s “Mr. Guy” is a classic UK Lover’s track in the mould of Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson, Louisa Marks et al.
“The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983” will be released as a fourteen track CD, but you can’t have a proper Reggae release without it being on vinyl so there will be a very limited vinyl pressing featuring an eight track selection and just to keep things local the sleeve art is a mid-eighties carnival shot from Bristol’s own Beezer, (www.beezerphotos.com), featuring a classic image of Jah Revelation sound-system.
This release will shine the spotlight on a long neglected corner of the UK Reggae scene and Bristol’s musical heritage, the same music that would help underpin Bristol’s musical dominance in the following decade. www.bristolarchiverecords.com
released 21 February 2011
The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978 – 1983
01. Black Roots : Bristol Rock (Bunny Marrett) (Arranged by Black Roots) p Nubian Music 1981
02. Joshua Moses : Africa (Is Our Land) (Joshua Moses 1978) p Copyright Control 1978
03. Talisman : Run Come Girl – Live (Taylor / Talisman 1980) p Recreational Music 1981
04. Restriction : Four Point Plan (Restriction 1983) p Unitone Publishing 1983
05. Black Roots : Tribal War 12” Mix (Black Roots) p Nubian Music 1981
06. Restriction : Restriction (Restriction 1983) p Unitone Publishing 1983
08. Talisman : Wicked Dem – Live ( Taylor / Talisman 1980) p Recreational Music 1981
09. The Radicals : Nights Of Passion ( John Carley 1980) p Copyright Control 1980
10. Sharon Bengamin : Mr Guy (Unknown 1980) p Unitone Publishing 1980
11. Black Roots : Juvenile Delinqent (Black Roots) p Nubian Music
12. Buggs Durrant : Baby Come Back(Home) (Errol Williams 1983) p Unitone Publishing 1983
13. 3-D Production : Riot (John Carley 1980) p Third Kind Music 1980
14. Talisman : Dole Age 12” Mix ( Joseph / Talisman 1981) p Recreational Music 1981
Tracks 1, 5, 11 originally released on Nubian Records
Track 2 originally released on More Cut Records
Track 3 and 8 previously unreleased Live Recordings
Track 4 and 6 originally released on Restriction Records 1983
Track 7, 10 and 12 originally released on Shoc Wave Records 1979, 1980 and 1983
Track 9 originally released on The Bristol Recorder 2 1980
Track 13 originally released on Third Kind Records 1980
Track 14 originally released on Recreational Records 1981
Track 1, 5 and 11 Engineered by UK Scientist, Recorded at The Facility, Produced by UK Scientist and Black Roots
Track 2 Engineered by Dennis Bovell, Recorded at Gooseberry Studios London, Produced by Dennis Bovell
Track 3 Recorded Live at Glastonbury Festival
Track 4 and 6 Engineered and Mixed by The Mad Professor, Recorded at Ariwa Sound Studios London, Produced by Restriction
Track 7, 10 and 12 Produced by Gene Walsh, Recording location unknown
Track 8 Recorded Live at Bath University
Track 9 Engineered and Produced by David Lord at Crescent Studios Bath
Track 13 Recording location unknown, Arranged and Produced by Ron Green
Track 14 Engineered by David Lord at Crescent Studios Bath, Mixed by UK Scientist, Produced by Talisman and UK Scientist
All tracks re-mastered by Steve Street, July 2010
All Rights Reserved
P c Bristol Archive Records 2010
Martin Langford, Steve Street, Sam Giles, Gene Walsh/Joshua Moses / Shoc Wave, Brendan, Des, Denison / Talisman, Jabulani Ngozi / Black Roots, John Carley, Rob Smith / Restriction, Adrian at Great Bear, Lloyd Harris / Chris Parker/Recreational Records, Alfredo / Nubian Records, St.Pauls Carnival Office / Steve , Thomas Brooman CBE / The Bristol Recorder People, Gary Chapple and “all the musicians who played on these tracks”.
Photo credits: Thanks to the original photographers and artwork designers with whom copyright remains on their work
Dance A Dub – Produced by Dennis Brown and Junior Delgado
Released in 1978 on the ‘Incredible Jux’ label in Jamaica and also in the UK a year before the vocal set from Junior Delgado. This album is constructed of Dub versions of songs on Junior Delgado’s album for DEB records ‘Effort’. It is rare and sought after and on listening you will realise why,…. it is a very fine Dub album indeed. It regularly sells for £100+ and some say only 500 copies of the original Lp were pressed.
The eponymous first track is particularly impressive with a blasting horn line and ‘Instra Dub’ feel. A tune that will have you perking up your ears and freeing up your mind. Two of the tracks on side 2 have such heavy bass lines that it’s suprising the needle isn’t leaping out of the groove to avoid being torn asunder by sonic malevolence from the planet of outer dubwise! Beware your Bass Bins, if they’re poorly constructed you’re going to end up with a pile of chipboard on your floor!
Who Dubbed it though?
But just who did the work on the Lp. Roots Archives credit a number of artists/engineers as having had an input into the Lp, namely – King Tubby, Jammy, Sylvan Morris, Maxie and Soljie. I have to say that on listening there is nothing about the style of Dub that reminds me of King Tubby, there is very little aggressive high pass filter work on it, a characteristic of Tubby’s ‘style’, Sylvan Morris is not particularly renowned for his Dub outings, though he did Dub entire Lps, Maxie also seems less likely the main Dub ‘Engineer’ in that he produced few straight Dub Lps and was Channel One’s desk man where the original Vocal set that became ‘Effort’ was partly recorded. Finally Soljie doesn’t show up credited on any Lp as engineer pre the early 1980s, making it less likely that he was involved I think.
I believe that most of the work shows the signature style of Prince Jammy. He is not associated with the Vocal set and he would at this time most likely have had access to Tubby’s desk. Having returned to Jamaica in 1975 from Canada it would fit that he could be the main ‘Dubber’ of the tracks here on Dance A Dub. His style has always sounded straighter and plainer and importantly cleaner than Tubby’s, with less use of the filtering Tubby is well-known for. He also uses echo in a way that fits the sound of Dance A Dub, he let’s echo feedback less and keeps his signals clean. Whatever the desk was that was used for the mixing of the album it had a slider or fader pot with some dust in as often when the channel is dropped behind the other tracks and effects that are returning you can hear the tell-tale crackle of a fader that need ‘oiling’. Strangely this might make it less likely that it was Tubby’s desk, as he was known to keep his equipment clean and well-maintained!
Don’t worry if you can’t find a copy for a reasonable price though, the Lp was re-released in 1997 on a label called Big Cat on Lp and on Cd I am told.
Here are some details for the train spotters amongst you, if you think you have found the original pressing of this Lp.
JUNIOR DELGADO AND THE RAGGAMUFFINS – ‘DANCE A DUB’
Label = INCREDIBLE JUX, no catalogue number given on Lp sleeve or label.
The Matrix in the run off groove of side one is – DSR 9690 A D.T. J.D. P.M. Produced by DENNIS BROWN / JUNIOR DELGADO and released in 1978, the pressing is obviously Jamaican, though a UK address is also given on the label. Distributed by Cash and Carry records / Kingston Jamaica.
DEB Label – Cat: DEB LP 010 produced by DENNIS BROWN / JUNIOR DELGADO pressed in France / released UK 1979.
The original Vocal Lp from which the Dubs are sequentially taken is Effort, produced by Junior Delgado and Dennis Brown for Brown’s DEB label.
Recorded at Channel One and Joe Gibbs in Jamaica, the Engineers are given as Errol Thompson, Sylvan Morris and Delgado himself. It is of interest that the Vocal Lp came out in ’79, a year after the Dub Lp, which is unusual.
Rather wonderfully there are some fantastic Players on the Lp and therefore on the Dance A Dub lp too, – They are:~
Sly Dunbar, Leroy Horsemouth Wallace and Santa on Trap Drums /
Robbie Shakespeare, Errol ‘Flabba’ Holt and Leroy Sibbles on Bass /
On Lead Guitar, Chinna, Bo-Pe, Sowell and a player I’ve never heard of before called Little D. /
On Rhythm Guitar, Bo-Pe, Dennis the Crown Prince Brown himself, and Bingie Bunny /
Piano Duties went to Dennis Brown, Bubbler, who may be Franklyn ‘Bubbler’ Waul and Gladdy Anderson.
Organ gets pumped by Winston Wright and Earl ‘Wire’ Lindo /
Percussion is by Scully and Sky High /
Horns are – Dean Fraser, Deadly Headly Bennett, Bobby Ellis, Nambo Robinson, Lloydie and Sico (Sico? A who dat?) /
Strings are credited to Augustus Pablo and Earl Lindo
… but best of all on Backing Vocals there were – The Manning Brothers, Leroy Sibbles, Dennis Brown, Junior Delgado and The Heptones (the rest of them I guess!).
All this reads like a convention of the biggest and best at just about the height of many of their careers….
And now the opportunity to hear both Lps side by side!
There are a few Dub albums that the Dub-heads want and ‘Dub A Dance’ is one of them. It’s created from rhythms laid down and used for Effort the Lp from Junior Delgado, indeed the Lp is produced by Dennis Brown and Jux, the Dub Lp also.
Enjoy this rare chance not only to hear one rare to hear Lp, but another alongside it as Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio plays the vocal versions to the Dub versions, in the order of the original Dub A Dance Lp.
Dub Session…. begin…..
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DEVON RUSSEL AND THE FIREHOUSE CREW PRESENTS – SOMETHING SPECIAL Vinyl Lp KJLP 003 – A1
A1 DADDY FREDDIE AND PRINCE LINCOLN LOVE SWEET JAMAICA
A2 JUNIOR DAN AND GENERAL LEVY GIMME LITTLE LOVE
A3 MIKEY GENERAL AND D.C. NINGA I AM SURE
A4 DEVON RUSSELL RAM DANCE HALL
A5 DANNY COXON BADNESS NO PAY
B1 JUNIOR DAN AND GENERAL LEVY WILD ANIMAL
B2 LUKIE D WHEY YOU COME FROM
B3 NITTY GRITTY TWYLIGHT GATES
B4 TENNESSEE BROWN TEN TO ONE
B5 DEVON RUSSELL AND CULTURAL ROOTS SOMETHING SEPCIAL
For years I’ve collected tunes by Reggae singer Johnny Clarke,
here is my personal top 20, in no particular order, tunes that are, I think, enjoyable listening or interesting from the ‘collector’s’ perspective in some way.
Be Upright Natty Dread – Impact – bl rrs 3219 rrs – Bunny Lee
Johnny Clarke & Dillinger- Commercial Locks- Justice-N/A-FBL 7313 A-Bunny Lee
Bring It On Home To Me-Caribbean-cbn 301 – a – 1u-Bunny Lee
Dread A Dread-Jackpot-DSR 5673a-Bunny Lee
Waiting In Vain-Afrik- AF 112-DSR 4031 A-Prince Jammy
Rude Boy-Art & Craft-ART00512″-ART 005 A-Stafford Douglas
Strictly Ragga Muffin-Firehouse-fh 018-a-King Tubby
Rebel Soldering-white ‘blank’ label-fbl 74 ?-Bunny Lee
Poor Mans Cry-Clocktower Records-ct disco 2000 b-Brad Osbourne
I’m Alone-Tree Roots-ts 1001a-Augustus Clarke?
Jump Back Baby-Cactus-ctep32a-Glen Brown
Lemon Tree-Pyramid-pyr 7013b-Bunny Lee
Simmer Down (no more Gun)-Attack-DSR A Side 10705
Too Much War-Attack- bl 7667 a -Bunny Lee
Young Rebel-Fashion / Dub Organiser-DOT 102 A-Fashion
African Roots-Jackpot-cs 9 a-Bunny Lee
Tt’s True-Barbell-rs4571-4640 rrs-Robert Sharkespeare (robbie shakespeare)
Enter Into His Gate With Praise-Lord Koos-koos 42 a-Bunny Lee
Don’t Go-Pep-PEP 001A-Rupie Edwards
Everyday Wondering-Atra Records-atra 019a-Rupie Edwards
CHECK OUT THIS WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO ON CLARKIE! – STUDIO IDLER
Rarely comes an Lp that I would buy on spec, but this was one…. and it arrived yesterday. It sounds like it should be a great album, indeed many are saying that it is.. With an eclectic choice of instrumentation, Dan himself at the helm, the mystical sound we can expect from him and the help in it’s Mixing of Damon Albarn’s (of Blur) re-mixing studio it looks on paper like it ticks the right boxes and should make the grade, but… I don’t think it does, not by a thousand miles.
Junior Dan, well known for 70’s massive Roots tunes like ‘Look Out For The Devil’ (re-issued as a 10″ by Honest Jons Records) has just recently put out Reggae Road Map a full L.p. on his own Hi-Try label. Artwork, sleevenotes and insert all put together by Dan himself, this Lp intially shone out as a effort in a wilderness that normally only gives birth to quick snapshots of an artists all too prolific (and thus poorer quality) career. Four of the tunes I understand were recorded at the Black Ark and have been kept ‘under wraps’ since.
BUT the album is an absolute mess.
Rarely do you hear a combined round of applause from the self appointed Reggae cognocenti, but that’s what is happening out there. Various message boards and ‘chat-rooms’ ring with praises for what many are calling the best Reggae album for years, but I can’t understand why, has anyone actually listened to it???
The noise floor on it, tape hiss you might like to call it, is incredibly intrusive, seperation in the mix all but non existant, it is muddy, EQ’d poorly, weak, and worst of all just lacks overall from a distinct paucity of any musical or solid lyrical focus. In my opinion it’s a really bad lp,… and I was so excited!
The Lp has all of the frequency range of a microphone under 50 meters of sea water and it sounds like they recorded to eighth of an inch tape on a 4 track Tascam Portastudio, remixed through an old Pioneer graphic EQ to B.A.S.F. normal Ferric Oxide C60 tape and then mastered to a cowpat via a knitting needle and empty bean tin stuck to the speaker cone of an old ghetto Blaster. All I can say is, by the sound of this Lp, Albarn’s re-mix studio must be in his old teenager’s sock ridden bedroom and if I was clutching some multitrack tape or data on a hardisk that needed remixing, I’d run in the opposite direction from wherever that studio is located just in case!
Frankly it sounded like it was remixed in a Gorilla’s studio by a primate and not … well you get the gag!
By all means tell me I’m wrong, tell me it’s a work of genius and Dan was only trying to ape Lee Perry’s recording technics in his approximation of Perry’s and the Black Ark’s aural landscape and to match the sound of the four or so tunes on the L.P. originally recorded there, please tell me I’m wrong about this album, I need you to convince me that I’m not upset that I spent some of the very little money I have available these days to buy records on this one!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Junior Dan’s stuff, or at least the little I have heard of it, just not this. It’s a real pity too, a missed opportunity because he obviously cares massively about what he does.
Sorry Junior, I mean no disrespect, I just don’t like this Lp at all.
Go and buy his previously released and first tune on revive 7″ single ‘House Is Not A Home’, it’s definately worth having, and I’m glad I bought that one at least!