Swiss trio The Giants comprises the Duke Brothers – Yves and David – along with Pascal Reuse. It’s however the brainchild of Yves and David, and they play bass, organ, keys, trombone, drums and trumpet, while Pascal Reuse adds rhythm and lead guitar.
On their new 18 track album Reel 1 & 2 – Adapted Chapter they have versioned 18 riddims in a vintage dub style. Most of the riddims are well-known and previously much-versioned, including Drifter, World a Reggae aka World Jam and Drum Song. The haunting Drum Song is actually one of my all-time favourite riddims, and this version gets a pretty high rating.
Reel 1 & 2 – Adapted Chapter was recorded during a live studio session on a 8-track tape from the late 80s. And the album certainly has a feel of old school dancehall coming from Channel One with Roots Radics providing the hard and ruthless riddims.
This is clean, organic and vintage dub at its best. There is one mystery with this solid set though. It’s available for free download. Not sure why, because the Duke Brothers have certainly put their hearts and souls in this project. So, grab it now before they change their minds.
Vocal harmony trio The Heptones and their front man and lead singer/bass maestro Leroy Sibbles are an integral part of reggae history with countless of immortal songs and albums under their belt. Some of their best known material was recorded for producer Coxsone Dodd in the mid to late 60s and in the mid to late 70s for producer Lee Perry.
In the late 70s Leroy Sibbles quit the band and moved to Canada. He was replaced by Naggo Morris, who sings lead on the recently reissued album Good Life, a set I have always regarded as underrated.
It was produced Joseph Hoo Kim and recorded at Channel One with The Revolutionaries providing the rock-hard riddims. It features several tunes with beautiful vocal harmonizing – Every Day Every Night, Black Man Memory, Can’t Hide From Jah and Repatriation is a Must. The set also features a well-crafted version of Bob Marley’s Natural Mystic.
Good Life was The Heptones’ eleventh album and it definitely stands up to par with classics such as Party Time and Night Food. It’s now available on vinyl, CD and digital download.
Reissue label Pressure Sounds is back with a third release of material produced by vocalist turned producer Phil Pratt – one of many unsung heroes in the world of reggae music. His credits are almost immaculate with some scorching tunes from the top singers and deejays of the 60’s and 70’s, including Delroy Wilson, Dennis Brown, Ken Boothe, Big Youth and U-Roy.
The release this is the much sought after dub album Dial M for Murder in Dub Style, a set named after the Alfred Hitchcock movie Dial M for Murder starring Ray Milland. It is a crisp and organic, sometimes restrained, production mixed by Bunny Tom Tom aka Crucial Bunny.
It was recorded at Channel One around 1979/1980 with Sly and Robbie providing the riddims with a little help from Rad Brian on guitar, Bobby Kalphat & Ansell Collins on keyboards and piano and Tommy McCook & Herman Marquis on horns. A qualified cast of instrumentalists used regularly by Phil Pratt.
Dial M for Murder in Dub Style dropped in 1980 towards the end of the period when dub had become popular around the world. The ten original tracks are featured on the LP with four bonus tracks on the CD and mp3 versions. The mixes are clean and neat with sometimes little or no effects used. Some tunes are almost instrumentals with the bass knob turned to the max.
Included are some top vocals that turn up from time to time. Ken Booth could be heard on Who Gets Your Dub, a version of Who Gets Your Love and the title track is a cut of The Blackstones’ Come and Dance from their Insight album put out in 1979. This is a stellar version with magnificent percussion and beautiful horns.
As always with Pressure Sounds, the packaging is flawless with the original sleeve and artwork for the cover and Steve Barker handles the sleeve notes.
Pressure Sounds is doing their fair share to shed light on Phil Pratt’s treasure chest of material and this release will further ensure his rightful place in reggae history.
RockDis aka The Rockers Disciples and the crew behind Blackboard Jungle sound system, both based in France, have sneaked out the excellent roots reggae compilation Musical Raid. It assembles ten vocal cuts and five dub versions of the heaviest sort.
The vocal duties are mostly handled by fairly unknown singers, like Daba, Anthony John and Mo’ Kalamity. The most well-known names are probably Prince Malachi from Jamaica or African Simba from the UK.
Regardless of the singers previous credits all tunes are solid, and the production is loaded with distinct influences from the late 70’s Channel One sound.
Standout tracks include Reality Souljahs’ Born Again where the singer goes Marvin Gaye over a thunderous steppers infused riddim, Christine Miller’s Signs of the Times with a nicely pumping organ or Prince Malachi’s apocalyptic Jah Fire.
This compilation is a must have for fans of contemporary reggae firmly rooted the 70’s.