Tag Archives: Clement Dodd

A musical dub feast on Dub Fire Special

unnamedOn Soul Jazz Records’ third installment of Studio One dubs the crew have culled cuts from a number of different sources, mainly from Studio One dub albums released in the 70s, but also from 45s released during the same period.

As usual with the warm and organic recordings coming from Studio One the riddims are immaculate and the musicianship superb with several well-known riddims, including Every Tongue Shall Tell and Darker Shade of Black.

However, Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s mixing style is rather simple and non-imaginative and most cuts are rather instrumentals than dub versions. But the sheer quality of the music makes this a very worthwhile compilation, and more melancholic tracks are the strongest.

Dub Creation – a version of Dennis Brown’s monumental Created by the Father – puts forward the haunting organ and a lingering guitar, while Libra Dub makes excellent use of the clavinet. Dakar is a spellbinding version of the melancholic Gates of Zion riddim, where Clement Dodd lifts the simple and hypnotic bass line ot higher heights.

Clement Dodd wasn’t as adventorous as King Tubby or Scientist behind the mixing desk, but he always had an ace up his sleeve – the riddims created at Studio One in the 60s.

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Rare Studio One albums scheduled for reissue

utre_WailingWailersCOVER_1Reissues of albums and singles from legendary Jamaican studio and label Studio One have surfaced over the years on labels such as Soul Jazz and Heartbeat. And now another label joins the reissue game.

Many of the label’s essential albums have been out of print for decades and now Studio One, in conjunction with the Yep Roc Music Group, will re-release titles from its catalog in their original formats, with track listings and album artwork intact, as well as new additions to the catalogue.

“We are excited for the opportunity to re-launch the Studio One brand and thankful for the trust that Carol Dodd and her team has afforded us. Through reissues of classic titles as well as new collections, we want our releases to reflect the history and legacy of Jamaica’s most iconic label. Here’s to the next 60 years!,” says Billy Maupin, GM of Yep Roc Music Group, in a press release.

The release schedule kicks off on May 27 with The Wailers’ debut album The Wailing Wailers. The reissue includes the original 1965 Jamaican masters and cover. The original LP version of the album has been out of print for decades, fetching huge sums from collectors, and the album has never before been released on CD with the original track listing and artwork.

The next release is a reissue of a compilation titled Money Maker, which has also been remastered from the original session tapes. It features a selection of cuts from acts like The Heptones, Burning Spear, The Wailing Souls and John Holt. The album is set for release on August 5.

Future 2016 releases from Studio One include the Studio One Radio Show taken from two 1970’s shows featuring the legendary host Winston “The Whip” Williams and a Don Drummond collection compiled by Clement Dodd himself before his passing in 2004 along with a box set to celebrate the label’s over 60 years of existence.

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Soul Jazz showcases Studio One in the 70s

Layout 1Last year UK reissue label Soul Jazz released the three disc album Coxsone’s Music, a 46 track compilation covering a lesser known side of pioneering Jamaican producer Clement “Coxsone” Dodd. It focused on his early days in the late 50s and early 60s.

Now the same label has turned to a significantly better known part of this music giant’s career – the 70s, a time when Coxsone Dodd started to reinvent his recordings and reversion classics from the 60s.

Coxsone Dodd and his main rival Duke Reid ruled the Jamaican music scene in the days of ska and rocksteady, but when new technology arrived and reggae took the island by storm in the late 60s both producers were challenged by eager and youthful producers like Joe Gibbs, Lee Perry and Bunny Lee. It was a challenging time for Coxsone Dodd and after the success with artists like Bob Marley & The Wailers, The Skatalites, Burning Spear and The Heptones his career was starting to decline.

But challenges and increased competition drive creativeness. And this was the case with Coxsone Dodd. He refused to be beat down and embraced changes. When the new players started to relick, or maybe copy is more accurate, many of the timeless riddims recorded at Studio One in the 60s, Coxsone Dodd answered and reinvented his own riddims in a contemporary style and fashion.

Studio One Showcase brings together a mighty fine selection of tracks from this period – the 70s and early 80s. A great number of Jamaica’s premier singers, harmony groups, instrumentalists and deejays show their skills. We’re talking Horace Andy, Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger, Sugar Minott, Jennifer Lara, Cedric Brooks, The Gladiators, The Heptones and Wailing Souls along with a few more.

Several of these recorded at Studio One already in the 60s, but came back when Coxsone Dodd called. Others were rising stars keen to work with the man and the myth himself. Together they reinvigorated the label. They stripped the riddims and reshaped them and explored new musical horizons. This manifested a new era in reggae and marked the dawn of dancehall.

The story is well-put in the thorough liner-notes provided by Soul Jazz head honcho Stuart Baker, who also provides a track-by-track run-down. Excellent stuff.

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Soul Jazz portrays the birth of a sound on Studio One Jump-Up

unnamedThe latest Studio One compilation from UK reissue giant Soul Jazz adds something new to their huge catalogue. It’s the first time they issue a compilation focusing on the bona-fide roots of reggae and the earliest sounds coming from Studio One and Clement “Coxsone” Dodd.

Studio One Jump-Up – The Birth of a Sound: Jump-Up Jamaican R&B, Jazz and Early Ska serves up a total of 20 tunes in many styles; from shuffle and R&B to ska and jazz.

This compilation starts from the beginning in the formative era. In the mid to late 50s Jamaicans were exposed to lots of U.S. R&B and producers like Clement Dodd merged these shuffling sounds with his own musical strains; calypso from Trinidad & Tobago and mento, a form of Jamaican folk music.

On this album you’ll find the roots of Studio One and a early R&B aficionado will probably recognize influences from aces like Louis Jordan and Fats Domino. But included is also cuts that adds something new, that adds something fresh to the rocking sounds. Count Ossie’s Another Moses is such a track, Don Drummond & Roland Alphonso’s Heaven and Earth is another. These two cuts are haunting and conscious and provided the foundation for what was about to come many years later – roots reggae.

This compilation is however mostly about party-starters and frenetic tempos. If you have a bad heart you might want to skip the joyous ska excitement of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Go Jimmy Go or the volcanic horns on Roland Alphonso’s Bongo Tango.

Studio One Jump-Up portrays a side of reggae that is sometimes overlooked – even though labels like Fantastic Voyage and Sunrise Records have done their fair share of reissues in this genre. “You have to know the past to understand the present” is an expression coined by U.S. astronomer Carl Sagan and it’s something Jamaican musicians might want to focus on now that they aim to reclaim global dominance in reggae.

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SoulJazz nice up the dance with new Studio One compilation

401060SoulJazz – a premier reissue label from the UK – have for the past ten years or so put out about 30 albums focusing on one of Jamaica’s most well-known and influential producers – Clement “Coxsone” Dodd and his various labels.

The latest instalment – Studio One Dancehall – Sir Coxsone in the Dance: The Foundation Sound – is SoulJazz’ first reissue from the mighty vaults of Coxsone Dodd to focus solely on dancehall.

When dancehall started to emerge at the dawn of the 70s Coxsone Dodd noticed that several of the young and upcoming producers had their artists performing over re-played classic Studio One riddims. Naturally he also wanted a piece of the pie and brought forward emerging artists to record over his own riddims. The success was instant with acclaimed albums and singles from Freddie McGregor, Johnny Osbourne, Lone Ranger and Sugar Minott, just to name a few.

And this new compilation focuses on that period, a period when Coxsone had singers and deejays riding classic Studio One riddims originally recorded in the 60s. It explores dancehall from a Studio One perspective, which is something rather different from, say, Junjo Lawes slick and polished productions.

Studio One Dancehall has the usual full, warm and organic sound, and it’s far from polished. It’s rough and raw, but at the same time innovative and creative. Lots of rare cuts, some in their extended version, are included – Green Tea & Chassy’s Getto Girl, Field Marshall Haye’s Roots and Herb Style, DJ Dawn & The Ranking Queens’ Peace Truce Thing and Brentford Disco Set’s Rebel Disco, are a few that at least I haven’t come across before.

This is yet another successful release from the SoulJazz camp and it comes as CD, digital download and triple LP.

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The story of Soul Jazz Records and Studio One

Soul Jazz Records is one of the best reissue labels around, focusing not only on reggae, but also on soul, hip-hip, funk and many other genres.

One of the many highlights of the label’s output is the reissues of material from Jamaican foundation label Studio One. A few years back Soul Jazz stopped issuing Studio One releases, but since November last year they’re back on track.

I’ve talked to Soul Jazz founder Stuart Baker about the relationship with Studio One and the label’s future. Check the full interview over at United Reggae.

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Jamaicas Abbey Road

Inspelningsstudion är en viktig ingrediens för en framgångsrik artist eller en enskild platta. Teknik, ljudtekniker och ”husband” gör ofta mer än vad många tror för att få ljudet att låta så där perfekt – inte nödvändigtvis rent, snarare personligt och varmt, och med tryck.

I musikhistorien finns många kända inspelningsstudior. Den mest kända är sannolikt Abbey Road i London – studion där Beatles spelade in sitt sista album. I Abbey Road-studion fanns uppenbarligen goda möjligheter att spela in bästsäljande skivor, annars skulle inte storheter som Pink Floyd och U2 valt att förlägga sina inspelningar där.

Utöver Abbey Road finns kända inspelningsstudior som Muscle Shoals, Sun Studios och Hitsville U.S.A. Samtliga har sin hemvist i USA, och inhyst storheter som Wilson Pickett och Aretha Franklin (Muscle Shoals), Elvis Presley och B.B King (Sun Studios) samt Marvin Gaye och The Temptations (Hitsville U.S.A, som för övrigt var högkvarter för skivbolaget Motown).

Jamaica har trots sin ringa befolkning många inspelningsstudior, eller hade i alla fall under guldåren under 70- och 80-talet. I reggaens begynnelse på 60-talet startade vanligtvis producenten en studio för att kunna spela in och ge ut skivor. Det gjorde bland annat demonproducenterna Joe Gibbs och Lee Perry.

Framlidne Joe Gibbs startade inspelningsstudio i eget namn, där han producerade klassiska skivor som ”Two cultures clash” med Culture och ”Under heavy manners” med framlidne Prince Far I.

black-ark-wallLee Perry – som faktiskt startade karriären som inspelningstekniker för Joe Gibbs, men slutade efter ett bråk – drog igång Black Ark i början av 70-talet. Ljudet Lee Perry lyckades skapa i inspelningsstudion är oerhört speciellt, och byggde till stor till på hans stora experimentlusta. Tack vare innovativa och säregna produktioner lyckades Lee Perry dra till sig några av Jamaicas mest berömda artister – Bob Marley, Horace Andy, The Heptones, Max Romeo och The Congos är bara några exempel.

Oavsett storheterna hos Joe Gibbs och Black Ark, så är de ingenting jämfört med Studio One – en studio som startades på 60-talet av demonproducenten Clement ”Coxsone” Dodd.

Studio One är Jamaicas i särklass mest kända inspelningsstudio – bland annat tack vare en mängd odödliga riddims som ”Drum sound”, ”Rougher yet”, ”Throw me corn” och ”Real rock”. Det var på Studio One Bob Marley startade sin karriär, och det var där som orgelfantomen Jackie Mittoo och basisten och sångaren Leroy Sibbles fick utrymme för sina kreativa ådror.

Inspelningarna som kom från Studio One har ett väldigt speciellt ljud. Vissa kan säkert kalla det en smula burkigt, men det är inte ljudets renhet som räknas, utan värmen och själen. Och det var precis det som Studio One handlade om – själ, personlighet och värme.

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