Tag Archives: Jamaican

Los Apartamentos – Water Di Garden

Los Apartamentos’ debut Lp – Water Di Garden – Due out April 2019

If you know Mento, you’ll know Count Lasher’s track for Stanley Motta, ‘Water The Garden’, all about a young man who is unhappily exposed, and haffi ‘Reel Out The Hose’ while watering his lady boss’s jardin, and hopefully not a Jardin Publique as I&I French would a say, or things could have got illegal, yah get mi Fam?

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So while mooching about the Mento driven corners of the internet one ‘Winston’ of Mento band Los Apartamentos and I got in touch with one another. I had immediately responded favourably to the tongue in cheek band name, as I’ve always wanted to have a Pan Pipe group called ‘Los Pastillas Urinarios’ (the toilet blocks, you know those rancid chunks of pineapple in the urinals, uh huh .. yep that.. ), and I think Winston could spot a fellow lover of Jamaican Mento music too, as did I.

These boys look interesting I muttered to myself while flicking through Instagram. Winston by then had also hooked up with my radio show bigmikeydread reggae radio, and he showed an obvious love for the Mento I was playing on it, educating me about Calypso in Germany, where the band hails from and which has a long history of interest in Calypso and Mento; as do one or two other northern European countries like the Netherlands and Belgium.

Then a short while ago he posted a video of a tourist postcard which played Mento, one of those old records on cardboard affairs. It took me a while to realise it wasn’t a 50s-60s antique collector’s item, but his band’s promotional item, for an Lp entitled ‘Water Di Garden’ due out on April 19th on Jump Up Records. www.jumpuprecords.com

I expressed an interest and today his ‘promo pack’ landed, the postcard went straight on my turntable, and you can view a video of it spinning below. I do apologise that the sound on my short video is woeful, but it’s such a nice object, I had to show you all.

Lost Apartamentos
German Mento band Los Apartamentos are busy playing Mento, the lost music of Jamaica

Basically the guys came together out of a love of Ska and Jamaican music in the city of Cologne, trading old instruments for new ones, they built a bass lammelophone (Rhumba Box) and off they went. Spreading the music and the joy for a few years before being invited to record an album by Chuck Wren of Jump Up Records.

Rather wonderfully they recorded to one Mic, just as the producers of early Mento had during the balmy night time recording sessions of noisy 1950s Kingston, and that Lp of one take renderings of vintage Mento songs is released in April of 2019. I’ll definitely be checking it out, the small excerpt on the postcard promo sounds pukka, and that’s pukka to the ears of a highly over-critical lover of Mento who would tell you in a trice if it sounded a mockery in any sense.. it doesn’t, it sounds sweet.

Check back here for a review hopefully later this year. I’ll be getting hold of a copy for sure.

©2019 Murphy ☜

Mark Professor – Oystah Card

Oystah Card – Tune.. review..

Mark Prefessor, out now, buy it..
Mark Professor, out now, buy it..

There’s a new tune getting spun at Murphy Towers, ‘Oystah Card’, a fun uplift of Jamaican Jerk Mixed U.K. pepper sauce with a dash of humour, a pinch of patois, and a suspicion of hit about it.

And top hole of all… it’s by someone I’ve seen perform on many occasions about the London Reggae revival scene, namely at Tighten Up a night that has morphed about Town for many a year. Mark Byer aka Mark Professor.

It’s got cheek, he rides the riddim like lizard pon a limb, it has a certain Britishness, it’s light, but it’s heavy (ish). It reminds me of that quirky nod and knowing wink that Kilburn and the High Roads had, that was thusly imparted to Suggs and his lot of Mad Men.

Word is Roddy loves it too..

In my role as Bigmikeydread Reggae radio supremo and self inflated fat person people send me ’nuff demo, ’nuff tune, ’nuff stuff, ’nuff already. Mark Professor didn’t, Mark Professor just put together with his crew a tune worthy of spondoolick donations from my very own personal wallet, albeit a Paypal purchase on eBay. Further word is that it’s all but sold out, not a wonder to this here one.

Hear it below..


Discover Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio

March 22, 2014 03:39 AM PDT

138 Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio – Roots and Ting

Show two for 2014, and there’s lots of Roots on this one, plus a little ting, a flavourin’ a likkel Reggae sauce, and some Rocksteady spice mix pon the chicken meal that is… Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio…

Tunes are certain to include..

Barrington Levy – Come On
Don Carlos – Declaration of Rights / Dub
Jimmy Dean – Black People Must Be Free
Chantells – Natty Supper
Well Pleased and Satisfied / Unknown Deejay – Barberman Bawling / Version
Bim Sherman – Tribulation / Dub
Martin Campbell – Richman
Buring Spear – Swell Head
Gaylands – A.B.C. Rocksteady
Desmond Dekker – Pickney Gal
Freddie McKay – A Little Bit Will Do
Lord Creator – Kingston Town
Herbie Carter and the Cables – Happy Time
Pat Kelly – I Don’t Want To Go
Bob Marley and the Wailers – Thank You Lord
I-sees – With A Broken Heart
Jonnie Clarke – It’s True
Lone Ranger – Annie Palmer
Eek A Mouse – Sensee Party

You can donate to Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio here – http://bigmikeydread.podomatic.com/ look down the right hand side and hit the Paypal button.
Your donations are the ONLY funding the show receives and are what keeps it going! – THANK YOU.

You can hook up with the show and Mikey at the Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio Facebook Group – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_5364049933

Thanks for listening, and come back soon for the bestest in Jamaican music, chat, sillyness, then and now. – all the best – Mikey

And you can read about interesting stuf on Mikey’s Blog at – https://bigmikeydread.wordpress.com/


130 Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio – These are a few MORE of my favourite things Pt4

130 Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio – These are a few MORE of my favourite things Pt4
itunes pic
130 Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio – These are a few MORE of my favourite things Pt4The continuation of favourite tunes.. my part 4 for you,.. simple as.Tracks may include..

1.Prince Far I – Bedward the Preacher
2.Jim Brown – Freedom Fighter
3. Albert Malawi – Children of the Emperor
4.Johnny Osbourne – Truths and Rights
5.Michigan and Smiley – Jah Lick We
6.Wailers – Bus Dem Shut
7.Jackie Opel – Push Wood
8.maddoo – Jammin’ So
9. Baba Brooks – Baby Elephant Walk
10. Luciano and Selvie Wonder – Neighbourhood Watch
11.Cutty Ranks – Blood On The Corner
12.U-Roy – Every Knee Shall Bow
13.Unknown 7″
14.Toots and the Maytals – Reggae Got Soul
15.Errol Dunkley – Train To ZionRonnie Davis – Kaya
16.Johnny Clarke – Too Much War
17.Frankie Paul – Pass The Tushempeng
18.Cornell Campbell – Stars
19.Charmers – Skinhead Train
20.Cornell Campbell – Let’s Start Over Again

You can donate to Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio here – http://bigmikeydread.podomatic.com/ look down the right hand side and hit the Paypal button.
Your donations are the ONLY funding the show receives and are what keeps it going! – THANK YOU.

You can hook up with the show and Mikey at the Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio Facebook Group – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_5364049933

Thanks for listening, and come back soon for the bestest in Jamaican music, chat, sillyness, then and now. – all the best – Mikey

And you can read about interesting stuf on Mikey’s Blog at – https://bigmikeydread.wordpress.com/

Joe Higgs – Unity Is Power – Pressure Sounds Release

unityispowerJoe Higgs – Unity Is Power – Pressure Sounds Release

Joe Higgs is an unsung genius of Jamaican music. Haunting, slightly off the beaten track, inventive, controlled, emotional, intimate and the real deal in only the way a true artist can be.

Many, even the Reggae elite pass him by as the man who taught the Wailers how to Wail; but all it takes is a moment, a moment where you engage with him personally, to convince you once and for all the you have discovered something extremely special. Something to cherish.

Tunes like ‘World is Spinning Around’, or the acapella ‘There’s a Reward’ (on the film Rockers I think it is) will turn you on forever to him and his music.

Pressure Sounds record label are bringing out for the first time the Unity Is Power Lp on the Cd format. Record Labels send me their stuff all the time, for review here and publicity on my online Radio Show and it’s rare I have the time, or have the inclination to spread the word, but when the word is that there’s a new Joe Higgs release due out, be sure that I’ll let you know.

Get it, ….. simple …… as its fabulous. And after you get it, go looking for his Lp ‘Life of Contradiction’, which Pressure Sounds also put out some time ago. Then go and get all the Ska (as Higgs and Wilson) Rocksteady, Early Reggae and Roots tunes you can, you won’t ever be disappointed.

Released – 27/08/2013

p.s. it’s also released on heavyweight vinyl for all you turtablists out there!


One man kutchie
Unity is power
Gold or silver
Love can’t be wrong
Small world
Think of the moment
Sadness is a part of my heart
Sons of Garvey
Invitation to Jamaica (bonus track)
Version (bonus track)

Mento, not Calypso – Fantastic Voyage Double Cd to be released

Mento, not Calypso – Fantastic Voyage Double Cd to be released

mentonotcalypsoDue out on the 12th of August this year (2013) hopefully Mento lovers and the general music loving public will enjoy this double cd of Jamaica’s very own vintage music. With 51 songs in the main dubbed from 78rpm singles and some from hard to find early Long Playing Lps, there should be something on it that pleases the ears of Mento mad music lovers. At least I hope so, because I had the joy of compiling it.

Currently it’s available on pre-release on Amazon here – See it on Amazon

Entirely from my own collection

Entirely taken from my own collection of rare 78rpm discs, I am told that the track listing will be, as I submitted, please see below. Though the label Fantastic Voyage have not confirmed that as I write, it seems likely.

What the hell is on it then?

Many of the songs have never been widely available and even for the avid collector, may not be well known. Being able to include some of the songs from an album called MONTEGO BEACH HOTEL CALYPSO BAND which likely features Lord Lebby and may have been produced by Stanley Motta for the hotel was for me a highlight. I tried really hard not to repeat too many songs that have already seen digital release, though did include some, where for instance they have only appeared once elsewhere, or have been duplicated on less than ‘pukka’ releases. I was helped in the dubbing/recording of the discs by Port O Jam, and I understand to some degree they have been ‘restored’ since, though until I hear the final cds, I won’t know how heavily. I hope they leave a good level of texture to the cd release, though understandably the hiss of a 78rpm record and the obvious scratches that walk with a recording that’s over 50 years old may not be to everyone’s taste.

Bases covered?

Hopefully I covered a number of bases, Rural Mento, Hotel Mento, both the rootsy and more commercial sounds, I wanted to include records created by the main movers in  Mento in the 50s and early 60s and so have included recordings produced by Chin, Tewari, Khouri and Motta, and sung by singers like Count Lasher, Lord Power, Harold Richardson etc. It also includes some of  the earliest recorded work by Lord Flea for Khouris pre Federal Times Record label.

At the same time hopefully I’ve made the two cd albums work in their own right, providing and entertaining overall ‘listen’ and not just a collection of individual songs.

Witter on why don’t you?

I won’t witter on, but I think it will be a more than welcome addition to anyone’s collection of Jamaican Mento, early Jamaican and Caribbean music. If you love Mambo, Cuban Jazz, Paranda, Ska or are a World Music and Folk fan, you’ll find loads on it to excite. Put it this way, If I hadn’t compiled it, or already collected the tunes, I’d be very very excited to get hold of a copy.


As I write this is the assumed track listing. Please excuse the Upper and Lower case . . .
01 Sir Horace and His Merry Knights  – Vocal – Horace Abrahams – Mambo Jamaica
06 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Mary’s Lamb – The More We Are Together
07 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Calabash
08 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Wheel And Turn Me
09 Chin’s Calypso Sextet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Give Her Love aka Woman’s Tenderness
10 Wigglers, The – Vocal – Denzil Laing – Limbo
11 Jamaica Boy (Denzil Laing) and his Kingston Calypso Orchestra – Man Is Smart, Woman’s Smarter
12 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – The Mighty Panther – The Talking Parrot
15 Dan Williams and his Orchestra – Vocal Lord Fly – Calypso – Whai Whai Whai
17 Ticklers, The – Vocal – Harold Richardson – Hard Hearted Lover (Man Could A Smart)
19 Local Calypso Quintet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Honeymoon
22 Dan Williams and his Orchestra – Vocal Lord Fly – Transportation Kingston Style
23 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Donkey City
25 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Calypso Cha Cha Cha
26 Lord Power and His Calypsonians – Mambo La La

01 Sir Horace and His Merry Knights  – Vocal – Horace Abrahams – Morgan’s Mento
02 Lord Power and His Calypsonians – Special Amber Calypso
06 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal Lord Lebby – Ethiopia
07 Chin’s Calypso Sextet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Industrial Fair
08 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Dalvey Gal – Parson
09 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Miss Goosie
10 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Mattie Rag, Brown Skin Gal
11 Ticklers, The – Vocal – Harold Richardson – Parish Gal
12 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – The Mighty Panther – Cinemascope
14 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Miss Daisy And Brown Skin Girl
15 Count Lashers Calypso Quintet – Vocal Count Lasher – Trek To England
16 George Moxey and his Calypso Quintet – Vocal by Joseph Clemendore (Cobra Man) – My Brother Calamity
18 Jamaica Boy (Denzil Laing) and his Kingston Calypso Orchestra – Mary Ann, Brown Skin Gal
19 Count Lasha and his Calypsonians – Perseverence
20 Jamaican Calypsonians – Vocal – Hubert Porter – Ugly Woman
21 Jamaican Calypsonians, The – Vocal – Lord Flea – Run Mongoose, Linstead Market
22 Count Lashers Calypso Quintet – Vocal Count Lasher – Water The Garden
24 Local Calypso Quintet – Vocal – A. Bedasse – Money Is King

Finally I wanted to sa:


A Colourful Storm special..

December 06, 2012 12:21 PM PST

A while back a team of guys asked me to come up with something for their organisation, A Colourful Storm, with pleasure I complied, and this is it.
An aural expedition into the Carribean, I hope you like it, it’s long, and sometimes the pace drops, though generally, I really like it and really enjoyed doing it.
It’s always nice to be asked. I’m posting it up as a bigmikeydread reggae radio ‘show’ so that listeners to my normal show can get hold of it and enjoy it, and to spread the word.
Normal service will resume at a later date.. until then..

Tracks may include:

Seventy Two Nations – Dadawah – Peace and Love Lp – Trojan
Distant Drums – Rico Rodriguez – Jama Rico – Two Tone records Lp
Fly Away – Lopez Walker – Blood and Fire Children Of Jah cd
Tears From My eyes – Jackie Opel – Ska down Jamaica Way – Top Deck Warner – Cd/Lp/Double cd promo
Goombay Drums – Blind Blake – Authentic Bahamian Calypsos – Art Lp
Roll On My Carribbean Sea – Bahama Lullaby Lp – Island Artistes Ltd
High Tide and Low Tide – Wailers – Catch A Fire – Deluxe edition un-dubbed lp version – Island cd
King In My Empire – Cornel Campbell – Rhythm and Sound 10″
Blood On his Lips – Scientist – The Evil Curse of the Vampires Lp
Climbing Up The Mountain – Missionary Quintet Bahamas – Folkways 10″ Lp
East of the River Nile – Augustus Pablo – Dub Reggae and Roots from the melodica king Ocho Cd
Rose Hall – The Revolutionaries – Thrillseekers 7″ Single
Dark End of the Street – Pat Kelly – Lee’s 7″ Single
Can’t Take Another World War – Clint Eastwood and General Saint – Greensleeves Two Bad Dj L.p.
Ark of the Covenant – Congos – Heart of the Congos Lp – Black Art / Blood and Fire
Ghostbusters – Early B – Blaack Solidarity 7″ Single
Trip To Mars – Prince Buster All Stars – Rocka Shaka Vol 5 Cd
Look Out for the Devil + Dubwise – Junior Dan – Honest Jons cd/10″
Plant Up – Prince Far I – Dub Encounter Chapter 3 Pressure Sounds Cd
Slipping Into Darkness – Carl Bradney – PK Records 10″ / Blood and Fire cd
The Firmament – Alpha and Omega – Dubplate Selection Vol2
Brain Mark – Jackie Mittoo – Champion of the Arena – Blood and Fire Cd/lp
Poem (track 6) Count ossie & the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari – proper/Retro Records Cd
Silent Satta – Augustus Pablo – Dub Reggae and Roots from the melodica king Ocho Cd
East of the River Nile – Augustus Pablo – Dub Reggae and Roots from the melodica king Ocho Cd
Chuck It – Jack Wilson and Demon Rockers – honest Jon’s/unity cd
Man of the Living – Wayne Wade – Yabby U 12″ Single
Got A Light – Vivian jones – Shaka 12″ Single
Ayahtolla – Jackie mittoo – Blank 12″
Garden Of Life – Leroy Sibbles – Big Spanner Ajax 12″
Tabu – Cyril Diaz – Soundway 10″
Righteous Rastaman – Early B – kingjam 10″
The Vampire – Upsetters – Upsetter 7″ Single
Rose Lane – Lennie Hibbert – Creation Studio One Lp
Fidel At The Control – Heaveyweight Dub – Inner Circle – Simply Vinyl Double Lp
Shockers Rock – Skatalites/Brentford All Stars – Studio One sorchers Instrumentals – soul Jazz triple Lp
Money Generator – Karl Bryan – Studio One sorchers Instrumentals – soul Jazz triple Lp
Off the Beaten Track – African Headcharge – off The Beaten Track – On U Sound Lp
The Hindu – ? – The Junkanoo Club Presents Nassau’s Star Entertainers – Art Lp
Danny Boy – Lord Lebby – Favourite Calypsos – Kalypso Lp
Cry of The Destitute – Umoja Dub lp
Jo Jo – Edmund White – Grass Roots of Jamaica – Dynamic Sounds Lp
White Boy A Follower – Churchical Chants of the Nyahbinghi Lp
Door Peep Shall not Enter – Burning Spear – Burning Spear Studio One Lp
When Will be The End – The Ethiopian (leonard Dillon) – Everything Crash Studio One Lp
Poppy Day – Trini Calypsonian – out The Fire, Smithsonian cd
Edward The VIII – Carreser – The Real Calypso – Smithsonian Cd
Farmyard Cha Cha Cha – Alerth Bedasse – Chins Calypso Sextet Cd4

You can donate to Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio here – http://bigmikeydread.podomatic.com/ look down the right hand side and hit the Paypal button.
Your donations are the ONLY funding the show receives and are what keeps it going! – THANK YOU.

You can hook up with the show and Mikey at the Bigmikeydread Reggae Radio Facebook Group – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_5364049933

Thanks for listening, and come back soon for the bestest in Jamaican music, chat, sillyness, then and now. – all the best – Mikey

And you can read about interesting stuf on Mikey’s Blog at – https://bigmikeydread.wordpress.com/


New from Pressure Sounds – LISTEN TO THE MUSIC – CALTONE’S Jamaican 45’s 1966 – 1969

In my opinion Pressure Sounds is the top re-issuer of Jamaican music and has been for some time, rivalled all too briefly by Blood and Fire and only given a run for their money by Rock A Shaka and Dub Store of Japan. Here’s their latest release ready to hit your listening ears.. I got my review copy today and I’m not even going to listen to it before I tell you to go get it.

Pressure Sounds latest as of 19th March 2012

I have their Safe Travel release and it’s essential. Considering all Caltone is essential listening and highly difficult to find and to afford, this release comes as a relief to those of us unable to pay £100 a 7″, whenever anything but the most average Caltone tune comes on the market.

It also comes as a welcome relief to having to listen to the ropey (as in poor sound quality and possible bandulu bizness) double vinyl release that came out a few years ago… Though it has to be saids the sound quality on the review copy of this up-coming release I was sent isn’t the best I think it could have been. Then again, some of the tunes are rare as the proverbial ‘urine of Zeus’.

‘Listen to the music’ is the second Pressure Sounds album of Caltone productions. Following on from the successful Pressure Sounds album ‘Safe Travel’ PSCD/LP47.

Its a 21 track set of tunes that cover the years from 1966 to 1969. From the late period ska years through to early reggae. For the most part the album is full of rare rocksteady gems.

Ken Lack  who founded the Caltone label was a businessman with a passion for music. His connections with Jamaica’s top session players resulted in a series of 45s that were both tasteful and well produced. Included in this 21 track album are tracks by Tommy McCook and the Supersonics. ‘Smooth Sailing’ and ‘Killer Joe’ are both superb horn driven instrumentals. There are three tracks by The Clarendonians led by the vocal talents of Peter Austin. ‘I’m Sorry’ and ‘Lonely  Heartaches’ are top draw rocksteady  songs.  Rare 45s that have never been re-issued since the original Jamaican pressings.

It was Bunny Lee and Phil Pratt who handled most of the hands-on production for Ken Lack although there was undoubtedly much input from Lynn Tait, Tommy McCook and Johnny Moore.

The music, recorded at WIRL, Federal and Treasure Isle studios, is filled with the kind of creativity and attention to detail that has made Caltone records so collectable to this day. When Ken Lack died in 2001 in Miami, Florida of a heart condition he left behind a unique set of recordings and should be remembered for bringing  a more  collaborative and cooperative spirit to Jamaican music.

There is an extra special booklet with many original graphics and photographs.

The mastering is all produced to a high standard and we are very pleased to add this fantastic album to our catalogue.

Track Listing

01. Peter Austin &The Clarendonians with The Ernie Ranglin All Stars – I’m Sorry
02. Lloyd & the Groovers With Tommy McCook and the Supersonics – Listen To The Music
03. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics- Killer Joe
04. Devon and The Tartans – Making Love
05. Alva Lewis with Lynn Taitt and his Band – Return Home
06. Chuck Jaques & with Lynn Taitt and the Comets  – Dial 609
07. The Uniques with Tommy McCook & The Supersonics – The Journey
08. The Kingstonians – Why Wipe The Smile From Your Face
09. The Clarendonians – I’ll Never Try
10. Tommy McCook & The Supersonics – Smooth Sailing
11. The Kingstonians – Love Is The Greatest Science

12. The Clarendonians with The Aubrey Adams All Stars – Lonely Heartaches
13. The Cool Cats – Hold Your Love
14. The Uniques With The Caltone  Studio Orchestra – Do Me Good
15. The Diplomats With Tommy McCook & The Supersonics – Going Along
16. Lloyd and the Groovers with Lynn Taitt & his Band- My Heart And Soul
17. Chuck Jaques & The Supersonics – Now That You’ve Gone
18. Eric ‘Monty’ Morris – Hear Them Say
19. Honey Boy Martin &  The Voices with Tommy McCook and the Supersonics – Dreader Than Dread
20. King Rocky & The Willows with the Super Sonics – You Are The One
21. The Emotions with The Lynn Taitt Band  – Gypsy

Studio One Lp Cover Art Book from Soul Jazz

Collected for your viewing pleasure

Just out from Soul Jazz, most recent purveyors of all that is Studio One related in the UK (music and otherwise) comes this coffee table booky wook, collecting some of the covers from Studio One’s catalogue for your viewing pleasure, though if you collect the Lps, you’ll have a significant amount of the artwork already.

No surprise there then?

It’s nice to have and there are a few you may not have seen before, such as the Tabernacle Gospel Lp covers or the Sri Chimnoy Lp (now legendary as a rarity) but there isn’t a lot here to stun an enthusiast for the label. Frankly that’s been the case with most of Soul Jazz’s output of Studio One material musically and so it is visually, also.


They (SJ) I think have missed a complete trick, in that on occasion they mention the sleeve notes and quote from them, they could have included many more, for the quirky nature of them are well-known and often amusing or enlightening. Including the cover of the Lp Pirates Choice (which has never it seems been reproduced as anything but a muddy turdish greeny brown of a poorly registered example of what NOT to do if you are a Litho printer) seems odd too. There are more Lps they could have chosen from, with more to offer the viewer, casual or otherwise.

I hoped for more

There is no logic or rhyme to the choices made and to the inclusion of some of the more recent Lp covers, which have little or no individually distinctive style whatsoever.

The forward by Steve Barrow is little more than yet another introductory level run through of Jamaican music history, though generally accurate for all that and still an engaging read for the newly converted. Though it should be mentioned that no Mento was ever to my knowledge released by Tewari on Down-Beat, only on sister label Caribou.


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.


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