Dan Ratchet shines in a conscious style

UK vocalist Dan Ratchet’s debut album now sees release on Bristol Archive Records after 26 years.

The release has been preceded by the strong 12” Ekome is Unity/Afrikana Policies, also included on the album.

Jah Poor People collects 16 tunes in a showcase style, i.e. each vocal is followed by its dub counterpart. The recordings were conducted in both Kingston and in London in 1985 and 1986 with production helmed by Dan Ratchet’s cousin Simbarashe Tongogara and mixing by Steven Stanley.

A number of well-renowned musicians hosted the sessions, including Earl “Chinna” Smith, Sly Dunbar and members of Aswad and Misty in Roots.

The album is semi-computerized with bouncy syndrums and a hint of Augustus “Gussie” Clarke’s powerful style. It ranges from the political themes of title track Jah Poor People and Afrikana Policies to expressions of love with tunes such as Sweet Rosie and Girl You Want My Love.

The conscious cuts, which make up about half of the album, are by far the strongest. The lovers oriented material somewhat lowers the overall score. But this is nonetheless an interesting set, especially the first three tracks.

Jah Poor People hits the streets on July 16 as CD and digital download.

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