Tag Archives: Mr Chin

Vintage dancehall with a flair on Chap Dem Chaplin

CHAP DEM CHAPLIN (FRONT)Can’t say I had heard much about veteran Jamaican deejay Ricky Chaplin until listened to Vernon Maytone’s latest album On the Right Track, released last year. On his album they teamed up for the uplifting and encouraging Straight to the Top.

That set was produced by Mr. Chin for Uniteam Music and he has now produced and recorded an album together with Ricky Chaplin along with a number of other notable reggae artists.

Chap Them Chaplin collects twelve tracks, of which two are dub versions and eight are combinations with Kiddus I, Big Youth, Echo Minott, Patrick Andy, Prince Alla and Vernon Maytone. A gang from way back when sound systems ruled the dances and deejays were the order of the day.

Manu Genius from Dubshelter has mixed the album. He was formerly one half of Not Easy At All Productions, and their sound is certainly recognizable. The syncopated riddims are rolling and tough, yet smooth and melodic. It’s vintage dancehall with a flair.

Ricky Chaplin is a deejay in the U Roy tradition. He has a rhythmic and melodic flow and rides the riddims with grace. The highlights are many, but most memorable are Time to Unite with Big Youth and My Sound with the youthful Patrick Andy. These two tracks relicks two of my favourite riddims – Cuss Cuss and Drifter respectively.

Chap Them Chaplin is available on CD/LP via Uniteam and soon also through Ernie B’s Reggae.

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Vernon Maytone is on the right track

front-coverJamaican harmony duo The Maytones is one of several unsung groups in the reggae industry. The duo’s rural and unsophisticated approach may not have been successful when trying to reach a global pop audience, but they managed to put out some passionate and heart aching roots, including Madness, Boat to Zion and One Way.

The duo split up in the early 80s when lead singer Vernon Buckley relocated to Canada. He has put out a few albums under his own name. His latest effort is On the Right Track, a set recorded and produced together with France’s Mr. Chin and Uniteam All Stars.

The album features twelve tracks and is partly presented in a showcase style. The versions are not dubwise though, but deejay cuts where the late Prince Jazzbo along with U Roy, Lady Ann and Ricky Chaplin have lended their talents to the disc.

Vernon Buckley’s voice sounds like it did 30 years ago. It’s raspy, soft and straightforward and floats nicely over the thumping riddims.

The album is mixed by Dutch producer and engineer Manu Genius, known for his work with fellow Dutchman Marc Baronner under the alias Not Easy At All. And the set very much sounds like a Not Easy At All production. Especially highlights such as Gonna Make It and Foreign Life.

On the Right Track is yet another strong effort from one of Jamaica’s many unsung heroes.

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