Saturday, October 1, 2011

#2: Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus - Dadawah Peace & Love (1974)

"The hotter the battle is the sweeter Jah victory..." Underappreciated, underrated, mostly unknown, this is Ras Michael's opus to Jah, the ultimate Nyabinghi evangelical Rastafarian experience. Sparse, dark, foreboding, ominous, positive, uplifting. One imagines observing the gathering through a cloud of ganja from just outside the group's drum circle, where in reality drummings and chantings would be interspersed with poetry and speeches hailing Jah Rastafari--the Rastas were true bohemians. Beautiful piano and hand drums from the dark Jamaican night couple with Ras Michael's calls for brotherhood and repatriation to Zion.

Link to Dadawah at this interestingly named site...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

#3: Yabby You - Jesus Dread 1972-1977

A double disc compilation of 47 killer tracks with a list of star artists--King Tubby, Tommy McCook, Dillinger, Big Youth and Michael Rose performing on Yabby You penned and produced rhythms. Yabby You's work in the six year stretch between 1972-'77 is the pinnacle of deep roots reggae. If you are not a fan of spectacularly raw, versioning roots reggae, then this album is definitely not for you. If not, check your soul because the problem is definitely not with the music.

Link to Jesus Dread at Oufarkhan.

Vivien Jackson, aka Yabby You

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

#4: Hugh Mundell - Africa Must Be Free by 1983 (1978)

Hugh Mundell wrote and cut every one of these songs on this his debut album when he was 16 years old with the help of some people with a bit of experience--Jacob Miller, Prince Jammy, Robbie Shakespeare, Lee Perry recording two of the songs and Augustus Pablo producing and supervising the sessions. The socially conscious young Rastafarian delivers an impassioned statement on society, religion and politics. The sad irony to the title is that Mundell was murdered in 1983.

The most recent release of this album comes with the dub versions tacked on, making it a double album of sorts.

Hugh Mundell and Augustus Pablo

Sunday, September 25, 2011

#5: Burning Spear - Hail H.I.M. (1980)

Burning Spear's Marcus Garvey is rightly acknowledged by reggae fanatics as among the greatest albums ever cut. But for me his Hail H.I.M., a tribute to Haile Selassie, is slightly the better work. Maybe its my penchant for dub roots and lots of negative space that lets the music breathe, a sound that defines this album, that acts as the decisive factor. Like LKJ's Dread Beat An' Blood (#10 on the Desert Island list), this is a record with songs like "Foggy Road" that can and should be cranked to extreme's the kind of music one should not just listen too, but feel.. as in let the literal vibrations wreak havoc upon your desktop/home stereo/headphones. When I get serious about listening, I bust out the Skullcandy, a headphone I cannot recommend highly enough.

Get Hail H.I.M. at Dub Roots

Winston Rodney, aka Burning Spear