The reggae reissue market has produced a number of gems in recent years, but it’s not often an unreleased album turns up. This is however the case with vocal harmony quartet Still Cool’s self-titled debut set that has now seen the light of day through Digikiller.
Still Cool was in the 70s part of the musical arm of the 12 Tribes of Israel and regularly performed at their shows. The album was produced by the obscure Carl “Stereo” Fletcher and was supposed to have been released via his Uprising label, but it never materialized. Now – about 40 years later – it has finally hit the streets.
Still Cool is much in the same vein as other Jamaican vocal harmony groups and the set should appeal to anyone interested Israel Vibration, The Meditations or The Abyssinians. The harmonizing is however slightly less polished and the singing is a little rough around the edges.
Four of the ten tracks have previously been put out as singles, but the other six have never have issued before. The LP comes with ten tracks, while the CD collects 16 – the full LP plus six bonus cuts of alternate and extended mixes from rare 7” and 12” singles. The ten album tracks are on the CD also longer versions.
It’s insane that an album like this has been shelved for about 40 years.
Following monumental reissues from Pressure Sounds – the beautiful Live it To Know It from Jimmy Riley – and Shanachie – the haunting Dread Prophecy from Yabby You – comes another set that is wicked than wicked.
U.S. based Digikiller has teamed up with France’s Only Roots for the reissue of pianist Gladstone “Gladdy” Anderson’s rare Sings Songs for Today and Tomorrow. But this album is more than that particular set since it comes with its almost dub counterpart Radical Dub Session by Roots Radics.
Gladstone Anderson has been in the music business since the birth of reggae and he has played on several immortal reggae albums, including several scorchers with Roots Radics. He started as one part of vocal duo Stranger [Cole] & Gladdy, but from the 70s and onwards he mainly worked behind the scenes as pianist and arranger for various producers.
Sings Songs for Today and Tomorrow and Radical Dub Session were originally released in the early 80s on the Jahmani and Solid Groove labels respectively and didn’t make much noise at the time. Both sets are however fantastic and Gladstone Anderson has a velvety voice clashing the brimstone and fire riddims laid down by Roots Radics powered by Style Scott on drums and Errol “Flabba” Holt on bass. The dub album comes with deadly mixes provided by Channel One regulars Barnabas and Maxie.
The album comes in a beautiful 2LP gatefold sleeve with both sets complete with their original sleeves. And it’s obviously a work of love provided by two of the best reissue labels today.
Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge Records have found ten unreleased Scientist dubs and collected them on an album titled The Dub Album They Didn’t Want You to Hear!.
Nine of the tracks are dub versions of Flick Wilson’s School Days album and one is a dub from Wayne Jarrett’s What’s Wrong With the Youths set. Both albums were originally released by Jah Life.
This set is described by the label as classic Scientist 1980 style mixing. This usually means hard and sparse with focus on the bare essentials – bass and drums.
The Dub Album They Didn’t Want You to Hear! is currently only available on LP.