Sunday, May 22, 2011

Today's record is 'It's Allright', a lovely uplifting vocal by a little-known singer called Kwame Heshimu. In case anyone's wondering, Kwame is the name given in Ghana to boys born on a Saturday, and Heshimu means respect in Kiswahili, so there's a bit of both East and West Africa in this guy's name. 

I found this potted biography on the website of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he's now a visiting professor:

Kwame Heshimu grew in the shadow of the Blue Mountain. Son of a Cuban expatriate, and a mother, descendant of Jamaican maroons, he spent his childhood in one of the most inaccessible communities on the island. His grandfather, a saxophonist with dance bandleader Ray Coburn, frequently accompanied Rastafarian drummers. Kwame not only became enthralled with the music, but with the Rastafarian vocabulary, or Iyaric, an intentionally created dialect of English, reflecting their desire to take forward language and confront Babylon system. His romance with word, sound, and power had begun.

Apart from this, he recorded another 7", the awesome 'Beast Of Burden', a 12" version of 'It's Allright' and an LP called 'Follow I': all of them worth tracking down. As always, hope you enjoy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Super dub

'Love Jah Jah Children' is a Big Youth's deejay cut to 'Going The Wrong Way' by Al Campbell. It's very good, but the dub on the b-side is even better. In fact, it's one of the two or three best dubs to come out on any of Phil Pratt's labels. I really like the way Big Youth's vocal punches in and out of the mix - it gives it a rough, raw sound that it wouldn't have otherwise.

Monday, May 16, 2011

 Here's one of my favourite old singles, 'Music Maker'  by the Congoes. It's a great showcase for Cedric Myton's angelic falsetto and has a fatastic and dreamlike dub on the flip.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hello again!

This is one of my favourite instrumentals - 'General Amin', a rough diamond from Joe White, easily as good as the better-known 'Kenyatta'.

I like deep, raw-sounding roots like this -  I also like the jazzier side of reggae - so this presses all the right buttons. It's been a while since my last post, but I've got a lot of new stuff ready that I'll post over the next week or so.