Tag Archives: Triston Palma

Barry Brown’s Right Now rightfully reissued

The late dancehall singer Barry Brown had a short but prolific career, and was at his best in the latter half of the 70’s and the first part of the 80’s with tracks such as No Wicked Shall Enter, Lead Us Jah Jah and Far East, probably his most well-known tune.

Greensleeves has recently reissued one of his more unknown albums – Right Now. It was produced by Jah Screw, backed by Roots Radics and We the People Band and originally released in 1984. The backing and the riddims are sparse and crisp yet vividly powerful with the bass and the drums being in the front on each cut.

Barry Brown’s youthful and heartfelt voice flows nicely over several well-seasoned riddims, including Shank I Sheck, Cuss Cuss and Drum Song.

Right Now is available on CD and on digital platforms and includes a string of bonus material – Tristan Palma’s Nuh Shot Nuh Fire, as twinned with Barry Brown’s Jukes And Watch on the original Greensleeves 12”, dub versions of each Barry Brown vocal and Mafia, a wicked take on the Rockfort Rock riddim and described as a sound system favorite in the press material.

The 20 tracks are ruthless early Jamaican dancehall and the bonus dub cuts really show the strength of each riddim.

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A celebration of Ossie Thomas’ productions

Ossie Thomas is probably not one of the most well-know Jamaican producers from the dancehall craze of the early 80’s, even though he worked with some of the roughest and toughest talents in that era, including Frankie Paul, Sugar Minott and the Mighty Diamonds. Of course also Triston Palma, with whom he owned the label Black Solidarity.

This imprint is now the subject of a well-deserved compilation on Kingston Sounds/Jamaican Recordings, a label known for their high quality design and vinyl, but with less effort put into mastering, sound quality and liner notes. And this time the label has made a particularly disturbing mistake.

The title of the album is Birth of Dancehall – Black Solidarity 1976-1979. Reggae devotees know that the dancehall genre was born around 1979, and not three years earlier as indicted in the title. These tracks are rather from the early to mid 80’s.

But this bad mistake aside, Birth of Dancehall offers some great vintage dancehall with riddims supplied by the tight backing band known as Soul Syndicate.

The sound quality is generally a little shoddy and varies throughout the album, and it’s a pity that one of the best tracks – Ashanti Waughn’s Police Police – has very poor quality. String Up the Sound System from Michael Palmer, Puddy Roots’ Champion Bubbler and Early B’s Me Want Join the Army have on the other hand both sound and song quality.

Black Solidarity hasn’t been sufficiently represented in the reissue market and hopefully this release will be followed by others.

Birth of Dancehall – Black Solidarity 1976-1979 is currently available as LP and CD, with the latter containing four bonus cuts.

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