The fourth and final list summarizing 2015 collects the ten best reggae reissues and as usual reissue giants like Pressure Sounds and Digikiller are represented, but also Hot Milk and VP’s subsidiary 17 North Parade.
The list below collects ten heavily essential items and the list could actually have been a bit longer since the year has been very strong when it comes to reissues. Just outside the top ten comes albums from Tetrack and The Inturns along with the hefty compilation Rastafari – The Dreads Enter Babylon. Included in the list are both single artist albums and compilations and it’s presented in no particular order.
If you’re curious about the albums – check out this Spotify playlist with nine of the sets. Enjoy!
Artist – title
Various – Mr Perry I Presume
Pressure Sounds continue to plug the gaps in reggae history and Lee Perry’s unreleased catalogue is obviously not completely drained as one might presume. This collection of dubplates, alternate mixes and unreleased cuts is just as essential as it is consistent.
Various – Gussie Clarke From the Foundation
Augustus Clarke helped to revolutionize Jamaican music and that’s brilliantly showcased on From the Foundation.
Various – King Jammy Roots, Reality & Sleng Teng
The three discs – including the DVD documentary King at the Controls – show King Jammy’s range and diversity as a producer as well as his unique talent for keeping up with the times and pushing the music forward.
Various – Next Cut!
Most tracks on this Bunny Lee compilation are raw, especially the dubplates, and most of these unique mixes are heavy, sparse and militant.
Various – Strong Like Sampson: Linval Thompson Presents the 12” Mixes
Nearly two hours of some of the most uncompromising early dancehall to be put on wax. The fearsome Roots Radics do not apologize for their sparse and heavy as lead riddims.
Mr. Spaulding – Twelve Tribe of Israel
I have listened to reggae for almost 20 years and I can’t say I have heard frequencies as low as these before. The bass line on cuts like Tell Me and Mankind are as deep as the Mariana Trench and custom-made for mashing down the walls of Babylon.
Gladstone Anderson – Sings Songs for Today and Tomorrow
U.S. based label 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 the set comes with its almost dub counterpart Radical Dub Session by Roots Radics.
Various – Dread Prophecy: The Strange and Wonderful Story of Yabby You
Don’t think for a second that you can sleep on this epic collection of mystic, powerful and anti-establishment music where Yabby You and his friends chant down Babylon again and again and again.
Jimmy Riley – Live It to Know It
This album has everything a great reissue should have – excellent music, discomixes, devastating dub versions, good audio quality, scarce material and vivid liner notes. It collects nothing but the best and it captures Jimmy Riley at his finest.
Various – The Midlands Roots Explosion Volume 1
Shines light on Birmingham and other cities that make up the Midlands as well as putting forward some of the lesser known acts that spent years performing and recording without achieving any level of success. The area was certainly a powerhouse of British reggae and this compilation includes many tracks worthy of wide exposure.