A new reggae compilation from Bristol Archive Records documents the western part of the UK’s reggae scene in the late 70s up until the end of the 80s.
Bristol Roots Explosion draws heavily on two previously released compilation – The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983 and it’s slightly newer follow-up The Bristol Reggae Explosion 2 – The 1980s. And all but two cuts are from those albums.
The new additions include The Rhythmites’ uptempo Nation Integration – available on their recently reissued album Integration – and the super rare single Ethiopia Revelation by Big Roy, one of the first Bristol reggae artists to be recorded. As his name suggest he is heavily inspired by both I Roy and Big Youth and judging by the sound its producer obviously liked Augustus Clarke.
The most well-known act on Bristol Roots Explosion is probably Talisman, and they are featured with the single mix of Dole Age, but they also make a second appearance with Culture, but this track was recorded when they called themselves Revelation Rockers.
The best cut on this compilation is however Restriction’s pulsating and funky Calling For Mercy complete with superb verses by an uncredited deejay that rides the riddim like the stylistically superior Lone Ranger.
The Bristol Roots Explosion is leaner and meaner compared to both volumes of The Bristol Reggae Explosion. It focuses on raw and unpolished roots.