Channel One is a classic Jamaican studio and label responsible for a vast amount of immortal albums, vocals, dubs, versions and instrumentals. It was for example here that dancehall pioneering producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes recorded most of his material, including monster hits from Yellowman, Eek-A-Mouse and Frankie Paul.
Recording engineers and producers brothers Ernest and Joseph Hoo Kim owned and operated the studio, and by 1973 it was up and running.
Reggae giant VP Records and its subsidiary 17 North Parade has now decided to re-issue some 7” gems recorded at Channel One and originally put out on the Hoo Kim brothers’ Channel One, Well Charge and Hit Bound labels.
The seven 7” focuses on some wicked rockers and early dancehall titles from Delroy Wilson, Leroy Smart, Barrington Levy, John Holt, Mighty Diamonds, Sammy Dread and Michael Palmer. Each vocal is followed by its dub counterpart or, as in one case, its deejay version.
If you’ve been listening to reggae for a while you’re probably familiar with most of the tracks, especially Delroy Wilson’s adaption of The Spinners’ soul outing It’s a Shame or John Holt’s Up Park Camp.
Pick of the bunch is although the Mighty Diamonds’ Jah Will Work it Out on the A side and the late Ranking Trevor’s Masculine Gender on the B side. Both are cuts on the mighty Drifter riddim.
Since the original 7” are extremely rare, the format is probably tasty for vinyl addicts, and to spice it up further the sleeves come in a nice vintage style.
The box set also comes with a download card for MP3 versions of all 14 tracks.