The Twinkle Brothers have stayed true to their roots for more than 30 years. They started in the 60’s as a hotel-circuit band, but transformed to one of the deepest and most spiritual vocal harmony groups in roots reggae music.
Their debut album Rasta Pon Top – put out in 1975 – included titles such as Give Rasta Praise and Beat Them Jah Jah set the standard.
They’ve continued in the same vein ever since and have relentlessly put out albums with positive and defiant messages. Cross-over is just not for Ralston and Norman Grant and they won’t succumb to lyrical slackness.
The latest album from The Twinkle Brothers is Culture Defender – the follow-up to the excellent Barry Issacs-produced Praises to the King showcase set released in 2009.
Culture Defender is produced by Gussie P and combines The Twinkle Brothers two showcase ten inches on the Sip a Cup label together with unreleased mixes to the in demand Repent showcase as well as an unissued tune and some exclusive dub mixes.
Norman Grant’s agitating chesty delivery together with militant and heavyweight steppers riddims provided by talents such as Mafia & Fluxy makes this a crucial set for anyone who is interested in warrior-styled roots reggae.
You don’t hear a lot of instrumental albums these days. But when you do they’re often quite good, as in the several enjoyable efforts from U.S. band 10 ft. Ganja Plant or Neil Perch’s Zion Train.
The most recent instrumental album that landed at the Reggaemani residence is trombonist Matic Horns aka Henry Tenyue’s 36 tracked double CD Musical Storm produced by Gussie P and recorded with a host of talented musicians – Sly Dunbar, Style Scott, Mafia & Fluxy, Jah Shaka and Norman and Ralston Grant of the Twinkle Brothers.
Henry Tenyue started his career in the late 70’s working with Dennis Bovell and Linton Kwesi Johnson and then moving on to record and tour with UB40.
During the past years he has moved towards rootsy and deep riddims and his previous album was the haunting Increase the Peace for singer and producer Mike Brooks, an album where he blew the hell out of a prime selection of vintage riddims.
Musical Storm is in the same great vein with several relicks of classic reggae and ska songs, but also a number of fresh originals. Henry Tenyue lets his raw trombone speak with a sensitive aggression over the hard edged, dubby drum and bass heavy riddims.
Out of the 36 tracks only two feature vocals. And it is supplied by Henry Tenyue himself with no loss of quality.
Musical Storm is a sparkling musical feast that you can dine on for many months to come.