Sunday, July 12, 2009

Early Train

I was thinking that maybe I'd post 'Westbound Train' today. It's one of Dennis Brown's best tunes, it's one of Niney's biggest rhythms, and it has a great dub. The only question - what to post with it?

Well, I used to have quite a strange record - a 7" single with 2 pocket-sized instrumental/dub versions of 'Westbound Train' on one side, and two of Ken Boothe's 'Silver Words' on the other. I think it was one of the so-called 'economic packages' that surfaced occasionally during the oil crises of the seventies, but never really took off because the grooves were packed too tight together to get very much in the way of bass. So I thought I'd do that with the two original vocals, and why not have deejay and instrumental versions just to round it all off?
Here it is:

Sunday, July 05, 2009

More random picks

Here's some more nice tunes for you. Junior Byles on top form with the Upsetter-produced 'King Of Babylon'; a great deejay and instrumental double-header on Morwell Esq., 'Last Call' / 'Hot Call' by Sir Harry & Tyrone Downie; and finally the rootsy 'One Love' by Herman & Clement (Who? No, I don't know either) with U-Roy Junior on the b-side. 

I cleaned these up and loaded them onto my phone last week and I've really been enjoying them. 

Upsetter deejay singles

Here's a selection of Upsetter-produce deejay singles from 1972 to 1974.  I'm saving the real gem, 'Bring The Kuchy Come' (Dillinger's version of 'Words') for a later post but this lot are all fantastic songs.

What really stands out for me is just how good the mixes are on all of these tracks. Lee Perry didn't have a whole lot of equipment at the Black Ark, in fact, all of today's songs were put together using:

- Alice mixer (Scratch: "They weren't professional machines they were only toys")
- Grantham [Grampian?] spring reverb
- Roland Space Echo RE201
- Marantz amplifier for instruments
- AKG drum mic for vocals
- Teac 3340 1/4 inch 4-track recorder
- Teac 2-track recorder for mix down

Listen to the mix on 'The Lama' - it's perfect. Same goes for all the songs. There are lots of very good Perry compilations available nowadays, so there's no excuse for not having at least one. 

Anyway, enjoy.