Tag Archives: Barrington Levy

A rock solid Barrington Levy anthology

1355252762_barrington-levy-reggae-anthology-sweet-reggae-music-1979-84Barrington Levy is one of those people whose importance in reggae can’t be over exaggerated. Together with producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes, mixing engineer Scientist and the brutally hard skanking Roots Radics he was part of creating dancehall in the late 70’s. And he was only in his late teens. Scientist was a little older and Henry Lawes was in his early twenties. Impressive to say the least.

It was during the early dancehall era that the young Barrington Levy had his heydays. His juvenile, energetic and enthusiastic singing style was extremely popular and suited the dancehall format very well, and he managed to release hit song after hit song after hit song, including Collie Weed, Looking My Love, Shine Eye Gal, Hammer, 21 Girls Salute and Prison Oval Rock. His biggest hits to date are however the ganja anthem Under Mi Sensi and Here I Come – with its infectious skiddly-waddily-iddily-diddly- diddly-whoa-oa-oh.

All these and 32 more tracks of the same high caliber produced by the likes of Joe Gibbs, Donovan Germain, George Phang, Linval Thompson, Jah Screw and the aforementioned Henry Lawes are collected on the two disc Barrington Levy anthology Sweet Reggae Music 1979-84. Even though this is a single artist anthology, it’s also a great way to discover the early days of dancehall and the Roots Radics militant and disciplined way of revitalizing vintage riddims giving them a rock solid edge.

Barrington Levy has had a long career and still records sporadically, even though he has announced his final album. His best period is by no competition his early years, a time when his output was massive. But this magnificent compilation manages to collect almost only certified scorchers, even though the audio quality could have been better on some tracks.

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Another tough relick from the Necessary Mayhem camp

UK-based producer Curtis Lynch has not been slacking around this past month. A few weeks ago he dropped the tough Jam 4/the Wobble riddim with a wicked cut from rock stone voice Blackout JA.

Now Curtis Lynch drops another huge riddim on Necessary Mayhem subsidiary Maroon Records. The new riddim is called Shaolin Temple, and is based on – yes, you guessed right – Barrington Levy’s tune of the same name.

There are four cuts to this relick – Blackout JA & Chantelle Ernandez, Jah Mirikle and one dub and one instrumental from Curtis Lynch.

All three are solid, but the Jah Mirikle stands out from the rest.

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Heartical presents a series of veteran releases

Heartical – a French label and sound – has announced the release of four unreleased singles on the Far East riddim, originally recorded at Studio One in the 70’s. The most well-known version is perhaps Barrington Levy’s Don’t Fuss Nor Fight/Sweet Reggae Music produced by Henry “Junjo” Lawes.

The riddim is rebuilt by Basque Dub Foundation and features nice performances from veterans Mykal Rose, Ranking Joe, Jah Mikey, Carlton Livingston, Papa Kojak and Josey Wales’ younger brother Daddy Shark.

The younger generation is represented by Spanish vocal duo Rootsmala and Chronicle, a Jamaican vocalist that recorded for many Jamaican labels in the late 80’s before going on to record for U.S. label Massive B.

These releases will be available on October 3 on vinyl 7” and on October 15 as legal download.

If you’re curious on this version, feel free to download the megamix below (right click, save as).

Far East – Heartical

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Dokumentär kastar ljus över Junjo Lawes karriär

Den 16 februari släpper skivbolaget 17 North Parade en diger antologi om dancehall-producenten Henry ”Junjo” Lawes. Volcano Eruption, som samlingen heter, innefattar två cd-skivor med totalt 40 låtar samt en dvd med en dokumentär om stjärnproducenten.

De flesta av låtarna på cd-skivorna är hyfsat lätta att få tag på redan i dag. Dokumentären är däremot helt färsk och innehåller en 45 minuter lång exposé över Henry Lawes alldeles för korta karriär. Dvd:n innehåller också en 30 minuter lång konsert från 1984 med artister knutna till hans soundsystem Volcano.

Henry Lawes mördades i London 1999 i vad som ryktas vara en knarkuppgörelse. Under 80-talet var han en av Jamaicas absolut främsta producenter och den som började exportera dancehall världen över. Stjärnor som Yellowman och Barrington Levy har till stor del honom att tacka för sina karriärer.

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Barrington Levy i Dagens Nyheter

Reggaelegenderna besöker Stockholm i ett rasande tempo. För bara några veckor sedan var både Sister Nancy och The Congos på besök. I söndags var det Barrington Levys tur när han uppträdde på Göta Källare.

Jag var inte på konserten, men har snappat upp en recension av Dagens Nyheters recensent och krönikör Fredrik Strage. Och jag blir lika glad varje gång gammelmedia skriver om reggae och det inte handlar om marijuana, våld eller homofobi.

Barrington Levy startade karriären i slutet av 70-talet och hade ett antal hits med producenten Henry ”Junjo” Lawes. Det stora genombrottet kom tillsammans med producenten Jah Screw och låten Here I Come från 1985.

Here I Come var senast aktuell i Bredbandsbolagets reklamfilm och känns säkert igen av många, även om få nog vet att det är Barrington Levy som levererar sina patenterade di-di-bi-wha-di-di-bi-do-di-di-wha-di-bi-didley-didley-dooo. Eller något i den stilen.

Enligt Dagens Nyheter gör Barrington Levy en hyfsad konsert med klassiker som nämnda Here I Come samt Under Mi Sensi och Collie Weed. Men konserten förstörs av en ”gräslig” cover på Jailhouse Rock, skriver Dagens Nyheter.

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