Monday, April 27, 2009



I know you've been after some modern taarab for a while now, so here it is, Jahazi Modern Taarab. This is straight from Dar Es Salaam.

VIP is the big hit on this one - great lyrics - listen & enjoy   


Hi All,

I've got a couple more tunes for you, and they're nice ones: 'Penny For Your Dub' by U-Roy, and 'Love Without Feeling' by the Heptones.

'Penny For Your Song' was a hit for the Federals in 1967, a bigger hit for their lead singer David Scott in 1971, and an even bigger hit with Scotty's deejay version (yes, David Scott again). U-Roy's version holds its own against the others and the dub version is superb.

'Love Without Feeling' comes on one of Harry Mudie's heaviest rhythms, and there are a lot of great versions to check out. "Theme  From The Gun Court" (one of my favourites), "Spanish Town Rock" and "Lick Dem Face" are all very nice, and Mikey General did a good cut ('Now Is The Time') sometime in nineties.

Anyway, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Music


Here's 'Keep On Skanking' by Winston Scotland. He hardly recorded anything (maybe 8 or 10 tunes) and has a unique voice and style. The tune is a version of 'Skylarking'. It has a great breakdown in the middle where the music fades out but the deejay keeps on going until the rhythm punches back in without even taking a breath.

The label's nice as well. One of the things I've missed since I sold all my old singles is the look of the labels, and all the old record company sleeves they used to come in.  I can't think of any other sort of music that has the same variety and quality of label art as reggae, and the way they were cracked, scratched, faded or covered in writing or termite shit made each one sort of unique. You don't really get that with mp3s, CDs or even vinyl reissues.

Haven't been able to find any info at all on Winston Scotland, and I can't remember who did the vocal version he's toasting over here. Be nice to hear from someone who does.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Charlie Ace


Many thanks to Matt for the offer of the tagged mp3s. I've been thinking of putting up 1 fully tagged single whenever I've got the time, but I want to present the tunes a bit better than I did on those CDs that he ripped. Here's a link to an example of what I mean. It's an old favourite of mine, 'Country Boy' by Charley Ace.

I picked this up back in 1989 when I first met Bob Brooks. He'd just moved into the back room at Honest Jon's, and I was the only customer of the afternoon. I was really into the deejay stuff at the time, and I returned to Bath with a box full of the most amazing records, stuff like Big Youth's 'Energy Crisis' and 'Cassava Piece', 'Guiding Red' by Little Youth, 'My Little Fily' and 'Keep On Skanking' by Winston Scotland; tunes that I've really enjoyed over the years, and still love.

After his deejaying days were over, Charley Ace converted a Morris van into a mobile record shop and started taking music to the public. If you've got time on your hands, you can watch some great footage here:

Sadly he died at the start of the eighties.

I'll try to post a few more of those records over the next few days, tagged up in the same way.



Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday, April 02, 2009

from the archives

rips from 2 cassettes i picked up in east africa in the early 90's

Sidi Mansour!

I’ll send you a link for a compilation of Dennis Bovell productions called ‘Fugis’ later on. The whole LP’s great but the one song that really fascinated me was Lili Twill. It’s a wonderful song, and one of the very best ever produced by Dennis Bovell, but what interested me was the fact that the vocals definitely sounded like they were in Arabic: I wondered if it might be a cover version.

Here's a link to the reggae version of Lili Twill and its dub: Lili Twill

The full LP hs already been posted here

Surprisingly (in the age of Google and YouTube) it took me forever to track down the original song. Anyway, here it is in all its glory, Lili Tewil by Younes Migri:

What a voice! The reggae version seems to be a medley of this something else, though. But what else? The answer came from an unexpected quarter. In several interviews, Migri expressed disappointment at the treatment his song received at the hands of notorious German scheissmeisters Boney M. Yes, Boney M! In 1980, they did a sort of cover version called Children Of Paradise. Here’s a link, it came out on the b-side of Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida, but I warn you it’s a horror, I’d be pissed off too.

Anyway, that got me thinking of all Boney M’s other crimes against music. Rivers of Babylon was bad enough, but (until I heard Children of Paradise) I thought that ‘Wear You To The Ball’ was the worst of the lot by a country mile. They also covered Al Capone, No Woman No Cry, and Train To Skaville. According to Wikipedia, ‘Ma Baker’ features the melody line of a Tunisian folk song called ‘Sidi Mansour’ – so I thought, why not check it out?

Here’s Boney M:

Mystery solved – sort of. But who were Raaw, and how did they end up doing a medley of two songs that’d been covered by Boney M?
Regards, Steve

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

ethi dub

 via blessed zhao at differentwaters