Saturday, January 24, 2009

Africa is Paradise

Here's a new lot of music for your listening pleasure. This week it's reggae, old roots reggae. I've tried to do a selection of fairly mellow stuff - no heavy, pounding, sound-system tunes allowed! Anyway, here it is; I hope you like it.

1. Africa Is Paradise - The Conscious Minds
The Conscious Minds were BB Seaton, Ken Boothe, Pete Weston and Lloyd Charmers. You really can't go wrong with them.

2. The Wise Sheep - Big Youth & Junior Byles
B-side to a tune called 'Sugar Sugar'. Big Youth couldn't sing for toffee, but his singing records were usually way better than they had any right to be. 'Hot Stock', his most sought-after and most fun, sounds like a back-of -the-bus singlong.

3. The Lions - Ras Michael
This was Ras Michael's first recording, released some time in the mid-sixties. It's really simple, just a big drum, a little drum, a guitar and some chanting, and way ahead of its time.

4. Version (No Other Love) - Daffodil Samuels
Daffodil recorded just one single for Harry Moodie and was never heard of again. The vocal is OK, and the b-side has this very nice flute instrumental.

5. Sufferers Time - The Heptones
Heptones vocal, Lee Perry production, you can't really go wrong. Sorry about the sound quality, but my copy is really REALLY mashed up. It was pretty much unlistenable before I cleaned it up.

6. Inflation Dub - V. Brown
Never heard of before or since. This record's rare as hen's teeth but doesn't have the heavy bass that attracts really big money. Another one where my copy was completely mashed, but it cleaned up rather better than 'Sufferers Time'.

7. I Love The Way (Jah Makes Me Feel) - The Tonals
Another group that cut just one record then sank without a trace. This one's so rare that the only reference I've found to it anywhere on the web is some guy asking if anyone's heard it. Really cheerful positive stuff, and one of my favourites.

8. Version Jah Feeling - Gainde Roots
B-side to 'I Love The Way' - lovely restrained dub that just focuses your attention on bits of the music you might've missed first time round

9. The Border - U Brown
Fast-talking deejay version of Gregory Isaacs' monster hit.

10. Jah O - Ras Laura
Another rare one, produced by Ras Michael at the start of the seventies. Apart from my own, I've only ever seen one other copy: you can pick it up for just $88 from a website in the States. That's about $85 more than what I sold mine for (sigh of regret), and $86 more than what I paid for it in the first place. The other side has the original version of 'Nightfall', which was a big hit for Johnny Osbourne about 15 years later. Another one of my favourite records.

11. Passing Through - The Prophets
This comes from the other 'King Tubbys Prophecies Of Dub' (they recorded two different LPs with the same title).

12. Big Wheel - Delano Stewart
Delano Stewart started out with the Jiving Juniors, and then sang with Ken Boothe and BB Seaton in the Gaylads, as well as doing some very good solo recordings. This is one of his best; another record that I really love.

from under the baobab tree

Hi Guys,
Happy New Year!
I was thinking about starting a music blog, but decided it was too much like hard work, so I thought I'd just send out a mass e-mail whenever I had some songs I felt like sharing. Here's the first:
It's a couple of nice soukouss tunes from a single by l'Orchestre Moudou-Mango. I got this record together with 'JM Akiyo Presente A Sagbohan Danialou' (one of my favourite records, but more about that some other time).
There's not really any information online about these guys, other than that they were from Zaire and recorded one LP and several singles.
Anyway, hope you enjoy.
All the best,