It’s not very often these days that new Reggae albums / collections come to the attention of the general music-buying audience. Unless you know where to look and listen, this is one genre of music that still genuinely remains ‘underground’ in most parts of the UK, so I get seriously excited when the brilliant BRISTOL ARCHIVE RECORDS decide to turn detective and track down tracks like these; tracks that had their city and others beyond, bouncing to the infectious grooves and bass-laden sound-systems back in the day!
Black Roots, 3-D Production and Joshua Moses all appear again, although ‘Rise Up’ by the latter and which opens the album, is a previously unreleased song. As indeed is ‘Wicked Men’ by Alfred McIntosh – a seven-minute dub track that could go on for twenty-seven minutes as far as I’m concerned!
And this is a real bonus with ‘Volume 2’ – the good people at the label have listened to feedback on their first reggae compilation and included a few more dub tracks on this one. Like ‘Re-Arrange (Version)’ by 3-D Production and Alfred McIntosh’s second contribution, ‘Ah It Dis.’
A couple of ‘rarities’ have also been unearthed, dusted down and given an airing: Cool Runnings apparently ran only 200 copies of the superb ‘Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto’ and the Bunny Marrett track ‘Times Are Getting Harder’ was his only vinyl release and remains very scarce and sought after in that particular original format.
It’s interesting to trace the development of the UK reggae sound over the years and the compilation closes with Dan Ratchet and Teknikal’s ‘Raggamufin Girl,’ which has a distinctly more commercial appeal.
Personally speaking, I’m pretty ‘old school,’ but happy to embrace the new ….. albeit ‘the new’ in this case was from 1989!
Don’t be fooled by the compilations you’ll see in the bargain-bins at your local supermarket. THIS is the credible stuff. The REAL sound of UK reggae before it was hijacked and diluted by today’s ‘mainstream’ artists who seek not to popularise the genre, but to gain chart recognition on the back of the real innovators!
Yeah – you can probably tell, Reggae does it for me!
(Released through Bristol Archive Records on 17th October 2011)
(10 / 10)