Can’t say I had heard much about veteran Jamaican deejay Ricky Chaplin until listened to Vernon Maytone’s latest album On the Right Track, released last year. On his album they teamed up for the uplifting and encouraging Straight to the Top.
That set was produced by Mr. Chin for Uniteam Music and he has now produced and recorded an album together with Ricky Chaplin along with a number of other notable reggae artists.
Chap Them Chaplin collects twelve tracks, of which two are dub versions and eight are combinations with Kiddus I, Big Youth, Echo Minott, Patrick Andy, Prince Alla and Vernon Maytone. A gang from way back when sound systems ruled the dances and deejays were the order of the day.
Manu Genius from Dubshelter has mixed the album. He was formerly one half of Not Easy At All Productions, and their sound is certainly recognizable. The syncopated riddims are rolling and tough, yet smooth and melodic. It’s vintage dancehall with a flair.
Ricky Chaplin is a deejay in the U Roy tradition. He has a rhythmic and melodic flow and rides the riddims with grace. The highlights are many, but most memorable are Time to Unite with Big Youth and My Sound with the youthful Patrick Andy. These two tracks relicks two of my favourite riddims – Cuss Cuss and Drifter respectively.
Chap Them Chaplin is available on CD/LP via Uniteam and soon also through Ernie B’s Reggae.