Friday, 25 January 2008

Various Artists - Jah Warrior Showcase



Released in October 1999, Jah Warrior Showcase brought together a selection of artists I’d been working with over the past year. Peter Broggs, veteran of Studio One and Channel One who I later went on to produce a full album with was the first Jamaican artist to appear on the label. Others like Hughie Izachaar and Tena Stelin were already associated with the label; Culture Freeman, Tony Roots and Afrikan Simba had all featured on singles for Jah Warrior prior to this album. Once again Crispy Horns were brought in on most of the tracks, along with guitar from Hughie Izachaar and percussion from Jonah Dan. I was very happy with this album and felt it was a true showcase of the label’s offerings and my production style. The vinyl LP with 12 cuts is currently unavailable but the CD containing 2 bonus cuts is still available.

Buy the CD here: http://www.reggaemusicstore.com/product.asp?P_ID=8426


1 Peter Broggs - Jah is Mighty in Battle
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2 Jah Warrior - Mighty Dub
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3 Hughie Izachaar - Just a Little Spliff
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4 Jah Warrior - Just a Little Dub
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5 Afrikan Simba - Patience
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6 Jah Warrior - Patient Dub
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7 Tony Roots - See Them a Come
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8 Jah Warrior - See Them a Dub
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9 Tena Stelin – Freedom
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10 Jah Warrior - Liberation Dub
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11 Culture Freeman - Meditation Rock
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12 Jah Warrior - Meditation Dub
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13 Jah Warrior - Millennium Bug
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14 Jah Warrior - Millennium Dub
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Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Tena Stelin - Lion Symbol




The 7th album release on the label, Lion Symbol came out in April 1999 and was recorded the previous year over a number of sessions. I first met Tena Stelin in 1988 at Vibes Studio in Leyton where he used to pass thru’ regularly. This was before he started working with Manasseh or Conscious Sounds, even before his first release the Commercial Bwoy 12” on Vibes Sounds 12”. Tena only did one or two specials for me at Vibes but he was there regularly to work with Blacka or Keety Roots and we met up quite regularly either at Vibes or at dances, I had a lot of music he’d recorded with Keety on dubplate at the time for the sound, and one day after I’d started the label we linked up and talked about doing some recording. The first release from these sessions came on 12” with the title track Lion Symbol. Tena brought Afrikan Simba to the studio one day to voice a DJ cut and altho’ I’d met Simba at dances before, that was the first time we ever worked together. The other side of the 12” had What Is Wrong With Man along with a next cut by a female singer called Talawah who’d been doing some tunes at Conscious Sounds. There were elements of what had gone before in the music – a few drum samples, the same jungle bass tone; but what was new about this album was its use of live horns for the first time. Chris Petter on Trombone and Dave Hake on trumpet, both from Crispy Horns section and later with Love Grocer who’d played with Zion Train and others. It added a new dimension to the music, which also featured Hughie Izachaar on guitar and for the first time percussion from Jonah Dan. It was now a real blend of live and digital sounds. Once again coming in a showcase style with vocals and dubs, the vinyl featuring 12 cuts is currently unavailable but the CD featuring 2 bonus cuts is still in stock.

Buy the CD here: http://www.reggaemusicstore.com/product.asp?P_ID=8331

1 UFO
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2 Unidentified Flying Dub
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3 Live Natural
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4 Natural Dub
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5 Keep Jah Vibes
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6 Jah Vibes Dub
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7 Natural Princess
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8 Princess Dub
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9 Lion Symbol
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10 Symbolic Dub
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11 Cashless Society
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12 Big Brother Dub
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13 What Is Wrong With Man
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14 What Is Right With Dub
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Jah Warrior - Dub From The Heart Part Two




Released in October 1998, Dub From The Heart Part Two was the 6th album on the label and continued in the same style as the first Dub From The Heart. Recorded at Conscious Sounds in the spring and summer of that year, I recall the sessions as a period of great creativity. We’d do one tune a day, using drum samples as the starting point and still using the cut and paste method as on the first part. Hughie Izachaar made a brief appearance on vocal with Walking Talking Dub – a full vocal exists but has never been released. In keeping with reggae tradition, a number of other tunes were versioned in some way - Wicked Man Dub adapts the bassline from Barry Brown’s “I Love Sweet Jah Jah”; Walking Talking Dub uses the bassline from Delroy Pinnock’s mighty “Babylon Walls”, “Marching To Zion” reworks Cultural Roots’ “Mr Bossman” bassline, “Zulumatic Dub” revisits an earlier and unreleased Zulu Warriors production, whilst “Dub Vibes” takes its inspiration from Bunny Wailers “Rise And Shine”. Dougie’s mixing can be heard in fine style throughout. The vinyl release with 10 cuts is currently out of press but limited quantities of the CD containing 4 extra cuts are still available.

Buy the CD here: http://www.reggaemusicstore.com/product.asp?numRecordPosition=12&P_ID=8226


1 Wicked Man Dub
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2 Warrior Steppers
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3 Selassie I Dub
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4 Dub Inna Ghetto
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5 Walking Talking Dub
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6 Marching To Zion
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7 Journey Into Dub
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8 Thunder Dub
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9 Zulumatic Dub
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10 Moments In Dub
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11 Wisdom Dub
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12 Kick Up A Dub
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13 Fistful Of Dub
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14 Dub Vibes
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Monday, 21 January 2008

Hughie Izachaar - Can't Take The Pressure


The 5th album to be released on the label, Can’t Take The Pressure hit the shops in April 1998. Recorded entirely at the new Conscious Sounds studio in Dalston, just as the studio had made the step up from a 16 track desk to a 24 track, and from quarter inch reel to reel to half inch, this album was my first work with Hughie Izachaar. A veteran of the UK scene who’d been active since the late 1970’s, Hughie had worked as a session musician for the likes of Jah Shaka (Commandments Of Dub Chapter One), Mad Professor, Pablo Gad, Barry Isaac’s Reggae On Top label, King Original and others. A member of the Black Brothers group who recorded classic dubplate releases like “Come Mek We Run”, Hughie also played on Ras Imru’s “Marshall,” released on Jah Shaka 12 inch. A guitarist first and foremost, he was versatile with other instruments and could just as easily lend his hand to bass and melodica too, as well as sing. The album came in a showcase style with vocals and dubs, 12 cuts on the vinyl and 2 bonus cuts on CD. Voiced by Hughie in two sessions, the first tune to be released was the title track Can’t Take The Pressure, on the Cuss Cuss riddim, which proved extremely popular. A mixture of styles are present on the album. Some tracks featured the same techno bass sound as on Dub From The Heart, Jah Will Deliver Us used an acid bass sound which can be heard prominently on the dub, whilst Hughie plays live bass on Get Up Stand Up And Rock, this tune being virtually the only Jah Warrior production on which I didn’t play bass. A few other fragments from Dub From The Heart found their way onto the album; Don’t Run Too Fast sampled the same Prince Jammy mixed drum loop which The Dub Organiser had also recently used for Starky Banton’s “I And I Saw Them Coming”, with a reworked techno style bassline from Al Campbell’s “Gone Down The Drain” riddim thrown in for good measure. Get Up Stand Up And Rock also used a drum sample. El Nino featured a live drum loop overlaid with the bassline from Aswad’s never released “Warrior Style” dubplate. The CD bonus track Gun Play reworks the bassline from Drum Song. Lyrically, the album covered topical material as well as more traditional rasta themes; El Nino talked about the climate change brought about by global warming which was big news at the time, whilst Cardboard City highlighted the place in London’s Waterloo used as shelter by many of the city’s homeless. The vinyl is now deleted but the CD is still available.

Buy the CD here: http://www.reggaemusicstore.com/product.asp?numRecordPosition=10&P_ID=8198

1 Jah Will Deliver Us
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2 Deliverance Dub
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3 El Nino
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4 Tornado Dub
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5 Don't Run Too Fast
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6 Don't Dub Too Fast
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7 Get Up Stand Up And Rock
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8 Get Up Stand Up And Dub
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9 Cardboard City
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10 Cardboard Dub
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11 Can't Take The Pressure
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12 Pressure Dub
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13 Gun Play
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14 Dub Play
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