Tag Archives: japan

Merritone and Kentone Singles from Federal and Dub Store Records

Essential Singles and Lps available from Japanese label

I really don’t know why I haven’t yet told anyone and everyone I can about these revive/repressed singles from Japan, Dub Store Records have got their grubby mits on the Master Tapes from Federal records and are turning them into gold dust again, pressing up Rocksteady and Ska gems for us to purchase.

They’ve been doing it for sometime, I’ve been buying them myself for some time and they were around for a good while before I did, but I’m telling the World now, sorry I’ve been remiss, derogation of duty, 50 lashes, go to Jail, do not pass Go… blah blah blah..

The quality of the vinyl pressing is second to none and the quality of the music, well let’s just say it’s some of the best music EVER to have been recorded in Jamaica… fine stuff. They’re a little more expensive than usual, but that’s what you pay for quality.

Here’s what the label has to say about them…

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In 1966, Merritone label was founded as a subsidiary of Federal Records when Ska beat was slowing down its tempo to take a next musical form called Rocksteady.From sons of Ken Khouri, Paul and Richard, engineers at the Federal Records to even employees at their pressing plant – all whom involved at the label forwarded Merritone productions in a body.They recorded many songs under Merritone label. However, those only appeared on vinyl records in limited quantities in Jamaica and a small bunch of titles were released on Island label in UK. Some of the recordings never saw the light, some became hardly known and many of them now considered being ultra rare records. Thus the label became a mysterious Rocksteady production in the Jamaican musicology.

The label name is originated from Winston Blake’s sound system, Merritone. Federal Records, which was the largest record company of the time in Jamaica, often used young talented people like Winston, who knew much about trends of the fraternity for promoting their new materials. Interestingly, Federal Records used even the sound system name in this case.

Although Federal Records is known for compositions arranged by Ernest Ranglin, Trinidadian guitarist Lynn Taitt and the Jets were in charge of the Merritone recordings. Lynn Taitt took a prominent role as a forerunner of brand new Rocksteady sounds as he produced like Hopeton Lewis’s ‘This Music Got Soul.’

Merritone recordings were undoubtedly collectives of veteran musicians at Federal Records, high-technology recording facilities, traditions and proud of the record company. Many would still describe the sound so unique, elegant, sophisticated and authentic like no other.

As a part of “Story Of Federal Records – Tribute To Kenneth L. Khouri” program, Dub Store Records proudly presents 40 singles from master tapes.

You’ll Never Know – 18 track Caribou label Ska Selection

As rare as rocking horse shite

Typically, Drum and Bass / Rock A Shacka Records excel themselves pour une autre fois with this Cd.

YES it’s a little expensive, at about £18 in the UK for a bona fide copy (cheaper than D&B records in the past though it has to be said).

Baba (or Dada) Tewari was a Jamaican executive producer and one of the founding fathers of the Jamaican record industry, siring as he did Caribou records, which initially put out homegrown Mento on 78rpm and later both Mento, Calypso. Boogie, Shuffle, R&B and Ska.

His productions are generally rare and difficult to find and this cd groups together some doozies. All good tunes and some killer minor key scorching hot Ska.

Drum and Bass are based in Japan and have for some time offered some of the best Roots, Rocksteady and Ska to be found being revived and repressed on the planet.

The quality is extremely good and though the tunes are very hard to find, the copies they have sourced and the restoration must have been of the highest order. Though grouping what are in the main commercial sounding Calypso tunes (only one or two though) alongside what is truly some of the best Ska you will hear, seems a little odd; until of course you remind yourself of just how rare Caribou sides are in the first place, and then it makes perfect sense to group as many as you can find in one place.

You can get a copy direct, or in the UK from Honest Jon’s (A great label in their own right of course) Here > http://www.honestjons.com/shop.php?LabelID=16369 Check out some of their other product too, the collection of Alton Ellis productions on his own All Tone label is particularly fine also. As were the Buster’s Record Shack collections out a number of years ago. you can seek out the original website and label here Drum and Bass UK Version.

Listen to the links and check out the other tunes..

Tracks include:

Comes highly recommended by yours truly.