Tag Archives: Walls of the City

Earl 16 and Manasseh shine on Gold Dust

Gold dust LP coverIn the first months of 2013 Jamaican roots veteran Earl 16 and UK producer and mixing engineer Nick Manasseh dropped the excellent showcase album Walls of the City. And the album came with a promise – more is soon to come from the duo.

That soon is now. Gold Dust is a fresh new album from this singer/producer collaboration that has been on and off for more than 20 years, ever since when Nick Manasseh was part of Riz Records.

Gold Dust takes on where Walls of the City left off. It’s a smooth, warm and organic set far from the hard UK steppers that Nick Manasseh produced in the late 80s. It collects several re-cuts and versions along with new material. All beautifully crafted with Earl 16’s delicate and dreamy vocals floating on top of the sometimes partly acoustic backing.

Gold Dust is the first single artist full-length album on Brighton’s Roots Garden Records, a label known for its quality rather than quality. It’s however Earl 16’s second album this year, and it follows the more vintage-sounding Natty Farming. Two outstanding reggae albums, but with completely different styles. Earl 16 has been in the business for 40 years, but still shines.

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Earl 16 and Manasseh tear down the walls of the city

CS483444-01A-BIGA new release from Nick Manasseh is always exciting and highly welcome. He’s one of the most consistent UK producers and now he has worked with Jamaican veteran roots singer Earl 16 on the showcase album Walls of the City. The first in what seems to be a series.

The set collects eight newly recorded tracks that balance live instrumentation and computer generated sounds. Four cuts are vocals and they’re directly followed by an inspired dub version. It includes a new version of the duos 90s classic Zion City, here titled Zion Holy City. It’s a completely new version, and even better than the original.

Walls of the City is excellent throughout, especially the title track with its deep and growling bass line and the uplifting Ease Up with its bright horns. Two very different tracks, but equally tasty.

Hopefully another set is due soon, but until then this album will be getting a lot of spins. Available now on LP and digital platforms.

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