Tag Archives: Augustus Pablo

A rockin’ Randy’s box set

VP Records follow-up on their Channel One 7” box set released earlier this year with a set dedicated to another legendary Jamaican studio and label – Randy’s, probably the most important studio of the early 70’s. It was for example here Augustus Pablo recorded several of his early masterpieces.

Roots Rock Randy’s collects seven rootsy 7” from the Randy’s catalogue produced by Clive Chin with engineering wizard Errol “ET” Thompson – later of the Mighty Two with Joe Gibbs – at the controls in Randy’s Recording Studio, located above Randy’s Record Mart on 17 North Parade in Kingston.

The music included is classic roots – vocals, instrumentals and dubs. Some of the tracks have previously been reissued on 7”, whereas others haven’t been on wax since their original released almost 40 years ago. A bunch of the tracks are also available on compilations such as 17 North Parade on Pressure Sounds, including The Gladiators’ The Race, The African Brothers’ Hold Tight and Broadway’s funky harmonica-lead Guns in the Ghetto, on the 7″ it’s the flipside to Hortense Ellis’ version of Marlena Shaw’s Woman of the Ghetto.

The most worthwhile 7”s are probably Ansel Collins’ haunting instrumental Spanish Town Road with its sparse dub version S-Corner Dub and Augustus Pablo’s Java Passion, his next cut to the original Java. Its flipside Woodpecker is just as tasty.

If the 7” format and quality roots music is your thing, then this rockin’ box set is well-worth investigating further.

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Message Music an acquired taste

Last Friday I read a short article in a Swedish daily about the new Augustus Pablo compilation out on Pressure Sounds. The piece was written by Andres Lokko, a well-known Swedish music journalist, usually writing about obscure pop and dance music. If he writes about Augustus Pablo you know that he was an important and influential musician vital not only to the reggae scene.

Message Music collects 16 dubs and instrumentals produced by Augustus Pablo spanning roughly from the mid 80’s to the early 90’s. The tunes are rootsy and partly digital, partly with live instrumentation.

This is the third compilation dedicated to Augustus Pablo out on Pressure Sounds. And it’s the least accessible yet. It’s ethereal, meditative and unique as label manager Pete Holdsworth put it in the booklet.

Several riddims are familiar. The reworkings offered are harsh and potent. Ammagiddeon Dub on Jackie Mittoo’s Drum Song is one example, the stripped version of Java another.

This brilliant album sheds light on a previously somewhat neglected period of Augustus Pablo’s career. There hasn’t been anyone like him in reggae music since he passed in 1999. It was too early as this album clearly shows. But his music lives on thanks to great labels such as Pressure Sounds.

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Pressure Sounds drops Augustus Pablo releases

Pressure Sounds has just announced a bunch of new releases from the late and great melodica virtuoso Augustus Pablo. The new releases are focusing on his digital era and spans from 1986 to 1994.

Augustus Pablo is not necessarily associated with digital output, and most of his most acclaimed material was produced during the 70’s. However, the four CD compilation Mystic World of Augustus Pablo: The Rockers Story contains one disc with a bunch of great digital tunes in a fine Augustus Pablo style.

First up from Pressure Sounds is the 45s Credential Instrumental, A Java Version and Armagiddeon (Drum Sound). All three complete with a version and available in late June.

The singles will luckily enough be followed by Pressure Sounds’ third Augustus Pablo installment titled Message Music. This one is supposed to hit the streets in July.

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Wax Poetics inna reggae style

The well written U.S music magazine Wax Poetics dedicates the latest issue to reggae and it includes articles on melodica pioneer and producer Augustus Pablo, music entrepreneur Chris Blackwell – most known for making Bob Marley world famous – and legendary singer Gregory Isaacs.

Wax Poetics is usually concerned with jazz and soul, but has sometimes included reggae related articles. For example a great piece on Winston Riley by journalist and photographer David Katz, responsible for the acclaimed People Funny Boy, a biography of Lee Perry.

Thanks to Jahkob for sharing this on the Blood and Fire forum.

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