Another long lost gem has been made available. Unification: From Channel One to King Tubby’s is the title of a set by Willie Williams produced together with legendary producer Yabby You, who is responsible of some of the most haunting roots reggae ever released.
Willie Williams is probably best known for his Armigideon Time, produced by Clement “Coxsone” Dodd in the early 80s. Apart from that tune Willie Williams is usually under the radar for most listeners, even though he has put several strong albums, including his debut set Messenger Man.
Unification is a hard and relentless set and contains several songs that has already been available but spread out on several different compilations over the years. And according to a recent interview with Willie Williams several of these releases are pirated, so it’s nice to have a proper album with timeless roots reggae.
The set was recorded in 1979; a chaotic time in Jamaica, when a general election was just around the corner. And this is reflected in the music – provided by an all-star cast led by Sly & Robbie of The Revolutionaries – and the thoughtful lyrics. It’s consciousness from start to finish with songs like Free Dem, Righteousness, Unification and Rally.
Willie Williams has a laid-back singing style similar to Don Carlos, and sometimes it’s hard to separate them. It’s almost half-spoken at times and very meditative, which clashes with the rock-hard bass lines.
The sound quality is well-above par compared to other releases of long forgotten albums, and it’s not every year you get to hear a previously unreleased Yabby You production, so head over to your nearest retailer and give it a listen. Satisfaction (most likely) guaranteed.