V/A Traveling Through The Jungle: Negro Fife And Drum Band Music From The Deep South (Sutro Park) lp 16.98
The always awesome Sutro Park label strikes again with another impeccable reissue, this one focusing on a type of music that, sadly, too often slips through the cracks of history when discussing blues or early modern styles. Not because it isn't awesome - oh, it is - but because the stuff on this platter resists easy categorization. As indicated by the title, the focus here is on "Negro Fife And Drum Music From The Deep South". This unique hybrid style brought together African polyrhythms and syncopation with fife and drum routines from the American and British militaries, resulting in a sound that wasn't quite modern OR antiquated. Rather, it was both... or maybe neither. The liner notes bring up the fact that most of the songs "conform roughly to the 'Bo Diddley' beat", which is apt for music that seems both primal and ready to stomp through the twentieth century. One thing is certain, the heavy rhythms presented here can be seen as a spiritual and literal precursor not only to blues and eventually rock n roll, but also jazz, disco, and hip hop just to name a few. And we certainly couldn't neglect to mention the priceless reaction of one customer who came in and wondered if we were listening to Einsturzende Neubauten! Which, actually does make sense if you were just wandering into a record store with incessant militaristic marching rhythms blasting out of the speakers. The fifes (and some Sonny Terry-styled vocal whoops) are generally the only accompaniment to the rhythms, adding a vocal quality that carries the majority of the melodies, though the drumming itself is also strangely melodic and enveloping. Some of the earliest songs here were recorded in 1942 while the majority are from 1970, and it's interesting to note a strict adherence to the form with very little, maybe even nothing changing in those years. A few of the names here are familiar to us - Otha Turner, R.L. Boyce, and the legendary Sid Hemphill - and the recording sessions took place locally in Mississippi and Georgia, though some of the musicians made their home in Tennessee, making this a uniquely regional phenomenon. The music represents a distinct fusion of African and African-American cultures, with the emphasis obviously on rhythm, even when handling traditional folk songs. As many of the musicians were old enough to remember life in the late 1800s, they were basically the lone adherents of what might have been perceived as a lost or dying art which had never been recorded commercially, having been performed mostly at picnics, dances, and parties. The notes make mention of how the younger drummers preferred playing instrumental pieces as they allowed for greater improvisation than the older minstrel pieces with their fairly rigid patterns, which in a way sounds like the beginnings of modern music as we know it, where tradition and style are used as a springboard to something else entirely. The results are not only interesting from a historical standpoint, but also a pleasure to listen to and an excellent tutorial on the progression of rhythmic music in the twentieth century.
V/A Traveling With My Portable Electric Phonograph : Vol. 1 (Monk) lp 22.00
Known primarily for their American blues reissues, Monk now joins the ranks of Dust To Digital, Honest Jon's and Mississippi Records in the international field with this amazing vinyl compilation featuring music from Africa and India recorded during the 1940s and '50s. While the title and cover art would suggest this was the work of a singular traveller/collector who either had a portable record cutter or player and recorded or collected recordings of many of the hotel bands on his travels through Africa and India, we could find no such actual accreditation. Instead these tracks seemed to be pulled from the vast EMI archives, mostly from their South Asian bureau. A little online research tells us that many of the African songs are the work of the Zulu, South Africa's largest ethnic group. The songs tend to incorporate traditional Zulu choral vocals into a sound heavily influenced by the western jazz many Africans were absorbing in the wake of British colonial rule. The songs from India likewise show a cross cultural blend of styles, showing at least one positive thing to come out of the generally brutal nature of imperialism. One of the band leaders, Teddy Weatherford, was a veteran of the Chicago jazz scene in the 1940s, while scores of refugees came over following the Japanese invasion of Burma in 1942, so this really is representative of the rapidly changing world of the day. Despite international turmoil, the artists here prove that the transcendent power of music can always shine through no matter where things are going. Bravo.
V/A Travelling Record Man, the: Historic Down South Recording Trips of Joe Bihari & Ike Turner (Ace) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Collection of archived recordings, many of them never before released, of Delta area blues musicians recorded between 1947 and 1953 by Joe Bihari for Modern Records. Accompanied by Ike Turner, then a talent scout for his label (who was responsible for discovering some of Modern Records best artists, including Elmore James) Bihari and his brothers recorded an impressive roster of R&B and blues. 24 tracks by the likes of Baby Face Turner, Howling Wolf, Elmore James, Joe Hill Louis, Charlie Booker, Pinetop Slim, Jesse Thomas and much more are included here.
V/A Trax Reprint 2: Notterossa / Rednight (Small Voices) 2cd 10.98
We managed to get a small handful of these from a distributor, they're priced super cheap, as the label has since folded, so these are the very last copies we'll ever be able to get, and we have only TWO of these, so be quick… Like many of the other releases we've been featuring from the now defunct Small Voices label, there seems to be very little in the way of NON academic descriptions of this stuff for lay people, folks like us who might just be interested in the sound, and don't need a lecture on sonic semiotics or whatever. So we'll skip the confusional history, and the academic jargon, what we could glean is that this is a cd reissue of tape release from 1982, called TRAX, and maybe this is the one place we should quote the label who describes TRAX thusly: "This is the first in a series of reprint programme of the most representative titles from the TRAX catalogue, one for each letter of the name: T for Traxman, the comics series created for Frigidaire magazine by Massimo Giacon and Vittore Baroni; R for Rednight, a collective homage to the work of William S. Burroughs; A for Anthems, alternative national hymns for real and imaginary countries; X for Xtra, audio works composed at distance through a process of crossed interferences" Not sure if that helped or not, but it's definitely interesting. This reprint comes in a huge oversized magazine style packaging, with liner notes in Italian and English, as well as tons of cool illustrations and graphics. Culled from what we can tell was some sort of zine or art project? Anyway, the first disc here is the actual 1982 tape, a compilation of noise/experimental/avant sonic art from a whole bunch of different artists and musicians from all over the world, it's a pretty fantastic listen, strange field recordings, industrial clatter, reverbed piano accompanied by strange mechancical buzz, swirly deconstructed drone pop, processed vocal loops, effects drenched sci-fi spoken word, noisy abstract avant electro-jazz, collaged porn soundtracks, strange detuned folk mash ups, primitive electronics, static drenched music box lullabies, splattery rhythmic improv, and so much more. All presented as one seamless hour long track, it's a heady, psychedelic listen for sure, definitely academic, but sonically more naive sounding, there's a distinctive joy in sound making on display, which is pretty refreshing, and for every chunk of atonal skree, there's another stretch of melodic loveliness. The second disc, is a new recording from composer / soundscaper / audio alchemist / modern minimalist Gianluca Becuzzi, whose Memory Makes Noise disc we review elsewhere on this week's list, and whose Kinetix double disc we listed a while back. At first we were under the impression that Becuzzi's pieces was a reworking of the first disc, but on closer listening, and a closer reading of the confusing liner notes, it seems that maybe it was INSPIRED by, as sonically it's quite different, opening with a strange spoken word, delivered over a hazy industrial thrum, a fuzzy distant drone, laced with deep distant low end bellows, and like everything we've heard from Becuzzi, his pieces constantly shifting, here flitting from ominous cinematic drone punctuated by bursts of static and random clang and clatter, to warm softly whirling subterranean warble, and from strange circus like garble, to hazy, glitchy crumble, before returning to the opening spoken word drone, further testament to Becuzzi's penchant for panlindromic composition.
V/A Treble Revolution Volume 2 (Kindercore) cd 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Fab comp with an unavailable-elsewhere Olivia Tremor Control track that sounds like Tortoise on 45. If that weren't enough, other contributors include Servotron, Man...Or Astroman?, and Elf Power.
V/A Trekkies 2: The Official Soundtrack (Reboot Music) cd 15.98
It's pretty exciting when two super geek interests collide, creating a pants-wettingly overwhelming geek fantasy come true. And lord know it's a rare occurance. In fact it almost never happens. Imagine Dungeons and Dragons and comic books, or robot wars and pro wrestling, or Star Wars conventions and science fair. Well friends, we have two words for you: Klingon metal! Yes that's right Star Trek meets heavy metal and we couldn't be happier. This is the soundtrack to Trekkies 2, the sequel to the massively funny Trekkies, chronicling the not so normal lives of various Trekkers (as they prefer to be called). The first Trekkies was amazing, and the second is no different. In fact, it might even be better, in that not only does it explore Trekkers all over the world, it explores the weird world of Star Trek rock! Inexplicably centered in the apparently very Trekkie town of San Jose, the "trek rock" scene is quite vibrant and well, really weird. There's the snotty punk rock of No Kill I, there's the new wave-y Warp 11, some truly demented trekkie folkies, and of course the Klingon metal of Stovokor. Stovokor definitely steal the show. Not only are they a great band, a sort of growling death metal meets Gwar, they are also incredibly funny and self effacing in the film, and their costumes are completely kick ass! The soundtrack is packed with soundbites from the film that will definitely have you running out to rent both parts one and two, and the Stovokor tracks most definitely kick some serious Klingon ass. So until we are able to track down a Stovokor full length (which trust us, we are already woprking on), this will have to hold you over.
STOVOKOR "For The Glory Of Qo'Nos" MPEG Stream:
STOVOKOR "Life In Exile"
V/A Triad (Neurot) cd 12.98
Three way split from three of the newest rock bands on Neurosis' mighty Neurot label. Most folks should be well familiar with Red Sparrowes by now. And two more blissed out epics from those guys is ALWAYS a good thing. Both live, and both perfect examples of why the Red Sparrowes are so kick ass. Loping, minor key post rock that swirls and shimmers and builds into massive spacerock fuzz drenched wall-of-sound blowouts. Mogwai, Godspeed, Explosions, if that's how you like your rock and have yet to check out the Sparrowes this is as good a place as any to start. Two tracks from the brilliantly named Made Out Of Babies, who kick out the jams, sort of Jesus Lizard style, but with their ace in the hole being vocalist Julie Christmas, who can croon all sultry but just as easily shriek and howl up a storm, PJ Harvey, Queen Adreena, a passionate and paint peeling caterwaul that perfectly complements MoB's lurching angular grooves. Last up is Battle Of Mice, featuring one Red Sparrowe as well as Made Of Babies' Julie Christmas. Battle Of Mice are basically a cross between the two, the slow burning melodic build of the Sparrowes, the slithery sultriness of Made Out Of Babies, with occasional caustic blasts of furious vitriol, but mostly a groovy tribal drift, with Christmas whispering and speaksinging, lots of breathiness and squeaky Bjorkisms, giving their two songs here a really creepy blissed out vibe.
RED SPARROWES "Alone And Unaware, The Landscape Was Transformed In Front Of Our Eyes (Live)" MPEG Stream:
BATTLE OF MICE "Sleep & Dream" MPEG Stream:
MADE OUT OF BABIES "Proud To Drown"
V/A Triad (Neurot) 3 x 7" 14.98
Also available as a super limited triple 7"!!! Three way split from three of the newest rock bands on Neurosis' mighty Neurot label. Most folks should be well familiar with Red Sparrowes by now. And two more blissed out epics from those guys is ALWAYS a good thing. Both live, and both perfect examples of why the Red Sparrowes are so kick ass. Loping, minor key post rock that swirls and shimmers and builds into massive spacerock fuzz drenched wall-of-sound blowouts. Mogwai, Godspeed, Explosions, if that's how you like your rock and have yet to check out the Sparrowes this is as good a place as any to start. Two tracks from the brilliantly named Made Out Of Babies, who kick out the jams, sort of Jesus Lizard style, but with their ace in the hole being vocalist Julie Christmas, who can croon all sultry but just as easily shriek and howl up a storm, PJ Harvey, Queen Adreena, a passionate and paint peeling caterwaul that perfectly complements MoB's lurching angular grooves. Last up is Battle Of Mice, featuring one Red Sparrowe as well as Made Of Babies' Julie Christmas. Battle Of Mice are basically a cross between the two, the slow burning melodic build of the Sparrowes, the slithery sultriness of Made Out Of Babies, with occasional caustic blasts of furious vitriol, but mostly a groovy tribal drift, with Christmas whispering and speaksinging, lots of breathiness and squeaky Bjorkisms, giving their two songs here a really creepy blissed out vibe.
RED SPARROWES "Alone And Unaware, The Landscape Was Transformed In Front Of Our Eyes (Live)" MPEG Stream:
BATTLE OF MICE "Sleep & Dream" MPEG Stream:
MADE OUT OF BABIES "Proud To Drown"
V/A Tribute To Nashville (Mint) cd 14.98
An almost note-by-note, word-by-word, clap-by-clap re-enactment of the soundtrack to Robert Altman's 1975 masterpiece 'Nashville'. If you're a fan of the movie, then you'll know exactly what this is all about! Paying tribute to this film's music is Ms Carolyn Mark (the non-Neko-Case half of The Corn Sisters). A very long-in-the-works labour of love, she convinced and corralled her many musical friends to contribute to her vision. The added unintentionally witty twist is that the "cast" is predominantly Canadian! This distinguishing fact appears strangest during the interspersed "Speech" selections throughout the disc. You know in the film how there's this car with a P.A. system affixed to its roof from which a man's voice spews a continuous rant on political reform? Well, excerpts of that speech are included on this collection and read by Steve Lang in an imitated southern accent. But the thing is that his Canadian accent keeps slipping through -- that unmistakable "oot" and "aboot" -- rendering his performance and the whole concept of this album even more surreal. For anyone unconvinced that Canadians are some of the strangest people in this hemisphere, I point to this album as exhibit A. Strange and brilliant. Features the talents (many in very uncharacteristic personas, and many from the Bloodshot Records roster) of the aforementioned Neko Case, Carl Newman (of the New Pornographers and Zumpano), Tom Holliston (of NoMeansNo, Hanson Bros, and Show Business Giants), Cindy Wolfe (of Tennessee Twin and twin sister to Bratmobile's Alison Wolfe), Dallas Good (of The Sadies), and Kelly Hogan.
CARL NEWMAN "Memphis" RealAudio clip:
NEKO CASE "Rolling Stone"
V/A Tribute To Robert Moog (Creme Records) cd 17.98
Electro tribute to the late, legendary synth inventor, without whom, etc.
V/A Tribute to Spacemen 3 (Rocket Girl) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. After influencing so many bands with their psychotropic guitar, moog, & sitar drones and heavy drug intake, it only seems fitting that Spacemen 3 gets a proper tribute album. Blissful stupor from Bowery Electric, Mogwai, Low, Arab Strap, Piano Magic, Bardo Pond, Frontier, Amp, Asteroid #4, Transient Waves, Flowchart, and Accelera Deck. Can't argue with that line-up! Rocket Girl (the label formerly known as Ché) brilliantly chose some cover artists that were willing to pierce through the layers and emerge triumphantly with the bare bones songs themselves, in all their melodic intensity. The chillingly quiet trio Low demonstrate this masterfully on "Lord Can You hear Me?", as do Mogwai and Piano Magic, the latter adding lo-fi drum'n'bass to the simple mix.
V/A TrickBeat (Human Wreckords) cd 14.98
Hardcore noise mashup featuring a strange mix of contributions from Melt-Banana, Christoph De Babalon, Merzbow, Shizuo (& Chris), Stilluppsteypa, Patric Catani, Brezel Goring (of Stereo Total), as well as many others. Dunno if these artists have actually produced the tracks themselves or if they're plundered, remixed and destroyed by someone else completely. Completely absurd, but interesting nonetheless for fans of noise and the aforementioned...
MELT BANANA "Vietnashville Infantry (& Swinger Mix)" RealAudio clip:
SHIZUO & CHRIS "Landbubenschmarocker"
V/A Trighplane Terraforms No. 1 (Mental Telemetry Standards & Voids) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. First in a proposed series of limited edition "abstract folk compilations" from Missouri's Mental Telemetry label. This "Trighplane" (i.e. three-way) split between Magic Carpathians, the Six Organs of Admittance, and Vibracathedral Orchestra isn't a bad start! From Poland, California, and the UK respectively, these are all AQ-fave outfits, with perfect "Terra" credentials, Ptolemaic-style. The opening two tracks from the Magic Carpathians are kinda scary, with off-kilter strings and Anna Nacher's haunting voice. They do a song from their last album, "Ethnocore 3" but perhaps it's a different version. Then Six Organs takes over with a long, gently droning piece with an old-timey folk vibe. Last up is Neil Campbell & Co's Vibracathedral Orchestra, bowing away at their oven racks, electric guitars and whatnot for five tracks of satisfying improv drone clatter, perhaps the most abstract (if not most folky) stuff on here. Though it IS folk in the sense of homebrewed, primitive music-making, just how we like it. All of this in a nice letter-pressed package (designed by AQ pal Nemo who runs Time-Lag Records), limited to 1000 -- what are you waiting for?
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE "Warm Earth, Which I've Been Told" RealAudio clip:
VIBRACATHEDRAL ORCHESTRA "Jubilee"
V/A Triple R - Friends (Kompakt) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This is actually a mixed cd from Richard Riley Reinhold, aka Triple R and the co-owner of German tech-house labels Traum and Trapez. His selection of cuts is a posh display of the smoothest shuffle techno, minimal house grooves, and vocoder-driven data pop, with cuts from Metaboman, Dialogue, Ada, Broker / Dealer (who have become San Francisco's best known export to the Cologne scene), Process, Luciano, Jeff Samual, Sami Koivikko, PWOG, Schaeben Und Voss, Dntel, and Oxtongue. As a DJ, Reinhold doesn't really have any exciting tricks, but manages to flow between these slick beats with an equally unhurried swagger.
METABOMAN "Easy Woman (Robag Wruhme Mix)" RealAudio clip:
BROKER/DEALER "Boots And Pants"
V/A Trogotronic Compilation - Analog Audio Ordnance (Total Annihilation) cd 7.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. **SALE **SALE* *SALE** This comp is sort of an advertisement, a promotional item, which would normally turn us right off, but this disc killer, and it just so happens to be promoting a line of hand crafted 'caveman' effects, created by none other than Nelson from Man Is The Bastard, Sleestak and Geronimo. Wondering where those fucked up sounds were coming from? The damaged electronics on the Geronimo record? Well, most likely it was a Trogotronic device helping to create that racket. They look beautiful and sound even better. Check it out: http://www.thumbprintpress.com/trogotronic.htm So this here comp features a who's who of noise artists who apparently endorse Trogotronic. But you know what? Even if you had no clue what the hell Trogotronic was, this comp would still stomp your ass. Check out the lineup: Geronimo, Unicorn, Sickness, Drunk On Blood, Mike Shiflet, Torso, Bastard Noise and more and more. The sleeve even lets you know which Trogotronic device was used in each specific track. We can't tell you how close we've come to blowing our paychecks on some of these noisemakers. But for now, we're happy to make do with this disc. First off, an unreleased Geronimo track, worth it right there. An awesomely creepy electronic krautrocky crawl, all crumbling and distorted, low end crunch beneath, squealing high end siren like skree. Sounds like an outtake from their full length, which it probably is, and which of course means it's awesome! Drunk On Blood, another Man Is The Bastard side project, offers up a symphony of electronic jackhammering, pounding and pulsing, almost musically, percussive and relentless, and weirdly listenable. The Sickness track is a heaving wall of analog fury, crumbling and crunchy, the Bastard Noise track is downright pretty, a sea of squelches and a distant beastlike howling, Torso unfurl some seriously creeped out hissy dronemusic, Unicorn offer up a weird symphony of shrieks and stumbling percussive clatter, Astrogenic Hallucinating spits out some fucked up, horror movie analog video game music, we could go on and on and on. All the tracks here are pretty amazing, some textural and drone-y, others blown out and white hot, still others, rhythmic and abstract, at the very least, you'll probably listen to this like crazy and do some serious damage to your speakers, worst case though, you'll end up like us, freaking out and NEEDING some of these noisemakers for yourself, then you can do some REAL damage! Beautifully packaged in a fold over, silkscreened sleeve.
DRUNK ON BLOOD "Flight Check" MPEG Stream:
GERONIMO "Hummingbird & Tarantula" MPEG Stream:
AUTISTATIC "Autistatic Vs. TR-Ogre Pt. 1" MPEG Stream:
SICKNESS "Days Of The Black Sun"
V/A Trojan 12" Box (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
V/A Trojan Beatles Tribute Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
You know it had to happen. Like the x-mas album, the Beatles tribute is a requisite in every genre. In fact, as you may have guessed, this isn't the first reggae tribute to the fab four. It's just the most fucking definitive in its 3 disc, 50 track length. The biggest argument in Trojan's favor in sequencing this compilation is that the majority of tracks selected were recorded during the Beatles craze -- during the mid-sixties and early seventies -- which means the bulk of the tracks on here are from the ska and rocksteady eras. Suffice it to say, while many of us might enjoy one or two interesting covers, a three disc set -- running almost three hours in length -- will probably only appeal to a very select few.
ERNEST RANGLIN "You Won't See Me" MPEG Stream:
THE CRYSTALITES "Lady Madonna"
V/A Trojan British Reggae Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
Trojan's latest collection chronicles the advent of reggae recorded entirely "within the golden shores of Her Majesty's sceptred isle" (as the liner notes poetically dub it.) The box takes as its focus the brief, though fruitful period between 1968 and 1972 (so you won't find any Matumbi, Aswad, or Steel Pulse here.) Reggae producers and artists in the UK have always had to play second fiddle to their counterparts back in Jamaica. The initial efforts in the UK were merely in importing and repressing popular hits from back home. Eventually, the success of expatriate artists in the UK would not lie in merely competing with those back in Jamaica, but by tailoring their recordings to the well heeled white audiences who were being turned on to these exciting new sounds. What you end up getting to hear on these three discs is a metamorphosis from carbon copy rock-steady rip offs like "The Duke All Stars" to the most bizarre sugar coated Top Of The Pops attempts that are guaranteed to force a Moe Szyslak "WhaaaAAAH?!" out of your gulllet. The first disc is all pre 1970's material and tends to tow the line straight out of the Duke Reid and Coxsone Dodd songbooks for the most part. There's even a reggaefied version of the Skatalites' "Phoenix City" by The Family Circle. Disc two finds the production in the new decade halfway between Lee Perry -- with his penchant for out of tune wurlitzer organs -- and a taste of what was to come, typified in The Music Doctors Jamaican styled rendition of Mungo Jerry's (one) hit "In the Summertime". The third disc however, presents a no-holds-barred attack on the charts with the most over produced -- strings, strings, and more strings -- reggae versions of the day's popular R&B, soul and country hits. One the weirdest is Delroy Williams' (sounding more like Andy Williams) version of "Down In The Boondocks", replete with slide guitar. But this doesn't even compare to UK's biggest unit mover Dandy's "What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For", which pulls out all the stops with strings, Tijuana Brass-esque horns and back up singers galore. The set finishes nicely with a nice up arrangement of Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1" by The Neasden Connection. Damn weird and kinda cool, if nothing else you can drop some of these seventies tracks on your next party mix and baffle the shit out of your guests.
RECO & THE RHYTHM ACES "Return of the Bullet" RealAudio clip:
THE MUSIC DOCTORS "In The Summertime" RealAudio clip:
DANDY "What Do You Want To Make"
V/A Trojan Calypso Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
Though most commonly associated with Trinidad, calypso was also a big hit throughout the Caribbean and even the U.K. The style grew out of a melange of influences including shango, kumina and European song. While displaying a happy face melodically, the underlying messages of much of the earliest songs -- Caribbean slaves were often forced to perform for their masters -- were excoriating criticisms of the slave owners. The lyrical acrobatics continued through the style's development through the 20th century, with double entendres being a requisite part of any master vocalist's cache of tricks. The Jamaican form of calypso, and its outgrowth mento, increased steadily in popularity with working class Jamaicans despite the almost complete blackout of radio and label interest in the music. This box set contains some of the best in the business -- Lord Kitchener, Count Lasher, Lord Creator, The Mighty Sparrow (from Trinidad and considered the king of calypso) and more -- along with some greats that are more familiar names in the later ska and rocksteady genres such as: Tommy McCook & the Supersonics, Phyllis Dillon, Derrick Harriott, The Maytals and more. The third disc in the set is a collection of recordings from the U.K. calypso scene and, ironically enough, are also the oldest dated cuts, recorded between 1956 and 1958. The first two discs in this collection are of West Indies calypso and their tracks were recorded primarily between 1960 and 1968, with a few tracks taken from the early seventies.
LORD CRISTO "Dumb Boy & The Parrot" RealAudio clip:
BALDHEAD GROWLER "The Sausage" RealAudio clip:
MCCOOK, TOMMY & THE SUPERSONICS "Get Me To The Church On Time"
V/A Trojan Club Reggae Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Throughout the sixties the bulk of sales for Trojan records was through the release of singles. They eventually got the grand idea of releasing these singles together on budget priced compilations and thus widen their market in the U.K. The end result of these collections is what we now know as the "Tighten Up" series. In 1971, Trojan decided to continue in this vein, releasing the first of five "Club Reggae" compilations. Some of the biggest selling singles from 1970 through the end of 1972 were compiled on these five lps and are condensed onto the first two disks of this set. The third disk here is a collection of 16 tracks taken from the 20 tracks that Trojan had included as bonus tracks when they first issued the whole series as a collection in 1974. The series is thus a focused lens in time of Jamaican music at the inception of Reggae. There are many super tracks in this comp; lots of beautiful soul-laden reggae, plus some amazing covers, including an alternate version of the Maytals doing "Louie Louie" that's absolutely stunning, the Pioneers doing "Mother And Child Reunion", the Messengers cover "Cherrie Baby" and much more. On top of all this there are some wacked out instrumentals, including some with moog synth lead roles. Highly recommended.
TOOTS & THE MAYTALS "Louie Louie" RealAudio clip:
VULCANS "Star Trek"
V/A Trojan Country Reggae Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
V/A Trojan Country Reggae Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
It really doesn't sound like that good an idea. Reggae versions of country classics. But from the first few strains of Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire", as interpreted by the Skatalites, that instantly recognizable melody, the vocal line replaced by a trombone, the original's swing replaced by some Jamaican groove, it suddenly becomes clear that it's not such a bad idea at all, and as the compilation progresses, it begins to seem like a fantastic idea, and why the hell didn't anyone think of it sooner?! Jamaican bands were always covering and reinterpreting American music, rhythm and blues, funk and soul, and as we've discovered, country too, all it took was for Trojan to gather them all up. Trojan do their usual fantastic job, three discs worth of the best reggae country covers, with excellent liner notes, all tucked in a little cardboard box. So many classics, "Tennessee Waltz", "Stand By Your Man", "Help Me Make It Through The Night", "Take Me Home Country Roads", "My Elusive Dreams", "Don't Take Your Guns To Town", "Will The Circle Be Unbroken", and more and more, performed by folks like Hortense Ellis, Max Romeo, Dennis Brown, John Holt, Toots & The Maytals and others. After a few listens to these reggae versions, the songs sound so perfect, and so classic, that gets hard to remember the originals, and even harder to imagine how the originals could have ever sounded better. This isn't all that new, but we've been listening to it like crazy, so we figured lots of aQ customers would probably dig it as much as we do!
THE SKATALITES "Occupation (Ring Of Fire)" MPEG Stream:
EWAN AND JERRY WITH THE CARAB BEATS "Tennessee Waltz" MPEG Stream:
MARLENE WEBBER "Stand By Your Man"
V/A Trojan D.J. Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
"Initially little more than record selectors for sound systems, deejays assumed a greater role following the exploits of Winston 'Count Matchuki' Cooper, who in the early fifties began embellishing records with smatterings of live and aural effects. Others swiftly followed suit and by the late fifties the practice was widespread, with the deejay's profile considerably raised as a result." By the late sixties many deejays were beginning to acheive popular success through releasing their own toasted versions of songs. This set contains some of the best and most influential deejay toastings ever committed to vinyl, including works by Big Youth, U Roy, Dennis Alcapone, King Stitt, Sir Lord Comic, I Roy and much more. "Like the farmer said to the potato, 'I'll plant you now and eat you later.'"
V/A Trojan Dancehall Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
"In 1979, when the late producer Henry 'Junjo' Lawes took Barrington Levy into the studio, he probably had no idea he was launching a whole new style of Jamaican music. But the rhythms he created, along with the musicians who would go on to become the Roots Radics, inspired the Dancehall craze. Between then and 1985, when digital rhythms arrived, Dancehall reigned supreme. A whole new generation of mainly young singers launched their careers, and several new producers rose to prominence. Channel One continued as the studio of choice for recording rhythm tracks, with King Tubby's being used for voicing and mixing. This box presents fifty examples of the genre, giving a varied overview of the music." --Chris Pete (from the liner notes.)
SIMPLE SIMON "Obey Your Mother & Father"
V/A Trojan DJ Box (Trojan) 3lp 37.00
The consistently popular Trojan box sets are now being issued on LP at long last. The sets all appear to be identical to their cd counterparts in design and content, only being slightly more pricey. "Initially little more than record selectors for sound systems, deejays assumed a greater role following the exploits of Winston 'Count Matchuki' Cooper, who in the early fifties began embellishing records with smatterings of live and aural effects. Others swiftly followed suit and by the late fifties the practice was widespread, with the deejay's profile considerably raised as a result." By the late sixties many deejays were beginning to acheive popular success through releasing their own toasted versions of songs. This set contains some of the best and most influential deejay toastings ever committed to vinyl, including works by Big Youth, U Roy, Dennis Alcapone, King Stitt, Sir Lord Comic, I Roy and much more. Like the farmer said to the potato, 'I'll plant you now and eat you later.'"
V/A Trojan Dub Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
In the late sixties the trend among producers to release b-side "versions" of songs, stripped of vocals, was intended to allow for DJ's to "toast" over the tracks with improvised vocals of their own and the end result is what we know today as Dancehall. The side effect to this practice was the inadvertent creation of what we also now know, love and embrace as Dub. Starting with King Tubby in the mid seventies, several studio engineers began showing off their talents by creating versions released strictly as instrumentals with added effects and instrumental solos to fill up the b-sides of singles. This box set serves to sample the pioneers of that era from the mid seventies on up to the early eighties, featuring dubs by King Tubby, Scientist, Lee Perry, Prince Jammy, Errol Thompson & Sylvian Morris of tracks by Sly & The Revolutionaries, Roots Radics Band, Upsetters, Gregory Isaacs, Tommy McCook & The Aggrovators, and much more.
V/A Trojan Dub Box Set, Volume 2 (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
Not much needs to be said here; a follow up to the popular and high selling Trojan Dub Box Set. Three more cds and 50 more tracks (what is it with Trojan and the number 50?) of some of the best dub in the Trojan catalog from the early seventies to the early eighties and, it probably doesn't need to be said, no overlapping songs from the previous set. They're all here: The Upsetters, Tommy McCook & The Aggrovators, Sly & The Revolutionaries, King Tubby, Prince Jammy, Augustus Pablo, Scientist and much more.
V/A Trojan Dub Box Volume 1 (Trojan) 3lp 37.00
The consistently popular Trojan box sets are now being issued on LP at long last. The sets all appear to be identical to their cd counterparts in design and content, only being slightly more pricey. In the late sixties the trend among producers to release b-side "versions" of songs, stripped of vocals, was intended to allow for DJ's to "toast" over the tracks with improvised vocals of their own and the end result is what we know today as Dancehall. The side effect to this practice was the inadvertent creation of what we also now know, love and embrace as Dub. Starting with King Tubby in the mid seventies, several studio engineers began showing off their talents by creating versions released strictly as instrumentals with added effects and instrumental solos to fill up the b-sides of singles. This box set serves to sample the pioneers of that era from the mid seventies on up to the early eighties, featuring dubs by King Tubby, Scientist, Lee Perry, Prince Jammy, Errol Thompson & Sylvian Morris of tracks by Sly & The Revolutionaries, Roots Radics Band, Upsetters, Gregory Isaacs, Tommy McCook & The Aggrovators, and much more.
V/A Trojan Dub Rarities Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
V/A Trojan Ganja Reggae (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
And the winner is!... Yep, it's the winning suggestion in Trojan's box set concept competition (and you thought we were joking!) We knew it had to happen. It's just amazing that Trojan needed to have the idea pitched to them, what with all the barrel scraping concept collections they've been churning out. In keeping with tradition, Trojan has stuck with their usual 50 tracks limit in pulling together these stoney gems from 1970 to 1985. Features the usual suspects: King Stitt, Bob Marley (how could they leave out "Kaya"?), The Upsetters, Max Romeo, Big Youth, Horace Andy, Johnny Clarke, Tappa Zukie, Cornel Campbell, Linval Thompson, Ranking Dread, Dillinger, Barrington Levy and much more. Also included are the usual three sides of liner notes on the cd sleeves waxing on the celebrated herb's place in Jamaican history.
DICE & CUMMIE "Real Collie" MPEG Stream:
UPSETTERS, THE "Callying Butt"
V/A Trojan Instrumentals Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
Instrumental releases have been popular among the Jamaican record buying public since the very dawn of the island's recording industry -- from the Jamaican blues of the late fifties through to the music of today. And at no other time were non-vocal records more in demand than during the sixties and early seventies, a time when Jamaicans rocked to the sounds of ska, rocksteady, and reggae. It is upon these exciting, formative years that this collection focuses, highlighting the work of some of the great virtuosos and instrumental groups from this hugely creative period. Throughout this time, few were more influential than trombonist Don Drummond and saxophonists Tommy McCook & Roland Alphonso. All three of whom were major figures in their own right, but also founding members of the Skatalites, who dominated the local scene until Don Drummond murdered his girlfriend in 1965! Fascinating stories, amazing music, highly recommended.
V/A Trojan Jamaican R&B Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
Though this collection probably won't appeal to everyone, aww, what the heck does anyway? Seriously though... Trojan delves a little deeper still into the archives of Jamaican music history with this newest collection of sides. This is basically where it all starts, the Jamaican music industry as we know it anyhow. Before there was any record industry of course, there were primarily sound men: Duke Reid, Coxsone Dodd, and to a lesser degree Prince Buster and many other highly competitive small operations. The fierce competition amongst them was well known, and success at importing the hottest American R&B singles was a sure way to give one's sound system an edge over the rest. It wasn't long before the most successful of these (Duke Reid firstly) started cutting their own imitations of American R&B using local musicians (the various members of the Skatalites got their start here under various names, depending on who was producing the track.) The tracks here were all recorded between 1960 & 1963 and vary between downright, straight up copies of American R&B and what would eventually become ska: basically a sped up R&B with a heavy accent on the off beat. Among those featured on this collection of classic Jamaican R&B (as well as some rare and even previously unreleased tracks) are some household names: Laurel Aitken, Derrick Herriott, and a 14 year old Jimmy Cliff (his first recording "Dearest Beverly" is included here.)
THE JIVING JUNIORS WITH DUKE REID & HIS GROUP "I Wanna Love" RealAudio clip:
DERRICK & PATSY "Oh My Love" RealAudio clip:
RICO & DUKE REID'S ALL STARS "Duke's Cookies"
V/A Trojan Jamaican Superstars Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
"All six artists featured on this set have rightly earned the title 'Superstar', scoring more hits than we have space to mention. As a resuls, we can only hope to provide a limited sampling here. Gregory Isaacs (a.k.a. the 'Cool Ruler'), began his career in 1968, before joining the Concords. Initial success didn't arrive until 1970, when he recorded 'Lonely Man' for Rupie Edwards. Delroy Wilson began singing professionally as a child, cutting his first records for Studio One. Over the next few years he was very successful, helping to usher in the Rock Steady era with 'Dancing Mood'. Alton Ellis has the distinction of being one of Jamaica's pioneer recording artists, cutting his first hit (Murial) in the late fifties. Pat Kelly entered the world of music as a member of The Techniques, who were recording for Treasure Isle at the time. John Holt's career began with a false start, launched with a couple of sides in the early sixties. After a short break from music he joined the Paragons, who became one of Jamaica's most successful vocal harmony groups later in the decade. Child prodigy Dennis Brown is another singer who first tasted fame whilst recording for Studio One. However, he really hit the big time after moving on to record for Derrick Harriott, scoring a number of superb recordings."
V/A Trojan Lovers Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
From the vast archives of Jamaican music reposited in their care, Trojan now culls a collection devoted strictly to love songs. 50 original and cover tracks of crooning and pleading, devotion and dispair spanning from 1966 to 1974. Featuring Delroy Wilson, Marcia Griffiths (singing Jackie DeShannon's "Put A Little Love In Your Heart"), Alton Ellis, Derrick Harriott (performing the Chi-Lites' "Have You Seen Her"), Gregory Isaacs, Phyllis Dillon (The Shirelles' "A Thing Of The Past"), Al Brown (Al Green's "Here I Am Baby"), The Melodians, Toots & the Maytals, Horace Andy, The Paragons and much, much more.
V/A Trojan Mod Reggae Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
Trojan records continues its English subculture series of box sets with a collection devoted to the phenomenon known as Mod. The fifty tracks collected here represent the most popularly played tracks in Mod clubs both during the style's heyday in the early sixties and its resurgence in the early eighties. The tracks all date from 1960 to 1970 and are primarily ska, but there are some oddballs here including some great cuts from Lord Kitchener and Lee Perry. Other popular artists amongst the Mods on this collection are John Holt (his 'Ali Baba' is apparently the most requested track at Mod clubs), Tommy McCook, The Skatalites, The Maytals, Duke Reid's All Stars, The Heptones, (a very young) Jimmy Cliff, and a slew of others. One glaring omission, despite even being mentioned several times in the liner notes, is Prince Buster. Seems like, what with his huge influence on the later Mod bands that formed in England, I can't imagine that licensing restrictions would hold Trojan back. Oh well.
HOLT, JOHN "Ali Baba" RealAudio clip:
ALPHONSO, ROLAND "El Pussycat" RealAudio clip:
LORD KITCHENER "Kitch You're So Sweet"
V/A Trojan Motor City Reggae Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 19.98
V/A Trojan Nyahbinghi Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Okay, at the risk of sounding like a bunch of Trojan solipsists (which we're not, really), this new Trojan Box is super fucking great! Quite simply, the concept behind this anthology assembles reggae tracks with Nyahbinghi accompaniment. Nyahbinghi is the name of the original Rastafarian sect, and the African based drumming that accompanies virtually all of its ceremonies -- most Nyahbinghi grounations. While today Jamaican commercial music and Rastafarianism are virtually synonymous, the two haven't always been so cozy. In 1962 when Prince Buster brought Count Ossie and his drummers into the recording studio to back up the Folkes Brothers on their version of "Oh Carolina" it was considered a revolutionary concept -- Rastafarians being cultural pariahs at the time. It wasn't until the roots era of Jamaican reggae well into the seventies that everyone was dreading their hair in locks and going rasta. But even then, whether for commercial, aesthetic or logistic reasons, Nyahbinghi drumming didn't permeate the rhythm section of reggae the way rasta conscious lyrics took over the vocals. Nonetheless, there were still miles and miles of examples of Nyahbinghi drumming wed to reggae laid down on tape. With that in mind, Trojan has assembled a very nicely priced introduction to some of the more prolific users of the form -- such as Count Ossie and Ras Michael -- some classic commercial moments -- Jimmy Cliff's "Bongo Man" and plenty of rare tracks. With the exception of 6 tracks from the late sixties, the recordings on this set were made between 1970 and 1975, the golden era for roots reggae. Highly recommended!!
U ROY & PETER TOSH "Earth's Rightful Ruler" MPEG Stream:
DADAWAH "Zion Land"
V/A Trojan Producer Series Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
The Trojan producer box set is a sampler introduction to the "producer series" re-issue program that was started in 1988 with popular success. The series focuses on six highly acclaimed Jamaican producers - Harry J, Joe Gibbs, Clancy Eccles, Alvin Ranglin, Niney and the inimitable Lee Perry - each of whom's work comprises half a disk's worth of material produced between 1968 and 1975.
V/A Trojan Ragga Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
Booyakasha! Been a long time since we've had any dancehall, ragga or no, to throw at you, beloved AQ customers. It's also been a while since Trojan has thrown us a box set we could count as more than a recycling gimmick. To their credit they've put out a hefty many top notch anthologies. We still sell tons of the Dub, Rocksteady, Ska, Nyahbinghi, X-Rated and Revival box sets. So when we saw that they had compiled an anthology of crucial raggamuffin tracks we had to check it out. When we put on the first disc we knew we had scored a fucking party smasher. It's fucking relentless. But it's not just the super fast tempo tracks with auctioneer style ribbity vocals that score the points for their aggressiveness. The slow numbers, like Simpleton's heavy "Pretty Little Angel" that have as much power and intensity as the fast tunes. Nearly every track on this first disc could be used as an example of ragga at its best: insane vocals with nutty production. This isn't the minimal dancehall of Wayne Smith's "Under Mi Sleng Teng" with his sole accompaniment a casio keyboard. Dirts Man's "Watch De Girl" is a perfect example with its synth power chords on every phrase ending and echoed vocals which make his already manic sounding toasting sound even more insane. The disc is well sequenced both between fast and slow tracks as well as between uber-digital productions and rootsy reworkings of older rhythms. Fans of Ward 21, like us, should take note on this one as it's filled with the entire bag of production tricks which they put to such good effect on all their recordings. That fucking heavy steamroller rhythm, like Ward 21 used on "Petrol"? All the fuck over this disc. So we're listening to this and just slobbering, and we think we're going to have a fucking aneurism by the time we made it through the third disc. So we put on the second disc... and... We just go flacid. Yep, nearly all 17 songs on the second disc are laden with suuuuper smooov "oooh girl, oooh", "three times one minus one's gonna make it 'aight" kind of stuff. Not really even that "conscious reggae" stuff, but just limp wristed pap. So with one more disc it looks like we're headed toward a split decision. Points for including Buju Banton & Tenor Saw's "Ring The Alarm Quick Quick" (we shit our pants way back in 2000 when we got turned onto this track through Soul Jazz's 400% Dynamite comp.), and FUCK!, Baby Wayne's "We Them A Defend" could well have been a bonus track on The Bug's Pressure and no one would have been the wiser, what with its super hard pile driver like rhythm, dirty production and even dirtier vocals. "Ring The Alarm Quick Quick" is an onion of a song and an essay on the Jamaican music industry in and of itself, what with Buju Banton roughing up Tenor Saw's "original" (an indictment on the state of music in Jamaica) which was recorded right over Ansel Collin's "Stalag 17" vocals and all. Throw in some madness from Capleton and a two fists worth of other hard, hard, hardcore ragga and you've got another disc as strong as the first. So you've got two great discs and one, well, you may get more mileage out of it than we did... Either way, for this price it's still a great fucking deal.
SIMPLETON "Pretty Little Angel" MPEG Stream:
DIRTS MAN "Watch De Girl" MPEG Stream:
BUJU BANTON & TENOR SAW "Ring the Alarm Quick Quick" MPEG Stream:
BABY WAYNE "Weh Them A Defend"
V/A Trojan Rare Groove Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
Trojan records "Proudly presents 50 extremely hard to find, and expensive singles from the late sixties and early seventies. Intended as a companion to the Trojan Singles Box Set, which presents sides issued on Trojan, this set draws on no less than twenty two of the company's original subsidiary labels (of which there were more than fifty!) However, rarity value alone was not the over riding factor in the track selection. Instead, we have placed emphasis squarely on good music, from some of Jamaica's premier record producers. Whatever your personal taste, from rocksteady to hard reggae, you're sure to enjoy this sampler." [From the liner notes] Featuring rare tracks by Big Youth, The Aggrovators, Roland Alphonso, The Pioneers, Winston Heywood, Horace Andy, I Roy, Augustus Pablo and many others.
V/A Trojan Rastafari Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
"Although there have been several Roots collections on Trojan, there has never been a compilation dedicated solely to Rastafari. In this writer's opinion it was better to reserve the subject for a box set, so that the appropriate care could be taken over the selection of tracks, and due respect given to the presentation. With other releases in this series proving to be so successful, now it would seem the perfect time for such a retrospective... All tracks date from between the late seventies and mid-eighties, with the majority being recorded at Channel One studio on Maxfield Avenue in Kingston... Collectively, the sequence of cuts on Disc One highlight the many trials and tribulations faced by Rastafarians, mostly brought about by society's ignorance, prejudice and injustice... Disc Two concentrates more on the spiritual wealth gained from worshipping Jah (God), and living an upright life... The individual messages contained on [the] third disc may seem varied at first sight. However, they are bound together by a central theme of Armageddon. There is also a rich sub-text, which warns the wicked to prepare for the aformentioned, and repent while they still have an opportunity." --Chris Pete (from the liner notes.)
V/A Trojan Reggae Sisters Box (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
V/A Trojan Revive Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
At first glance this collection looked to be the sign of Trojan having completely run out of box set ideas, but fortunately this is not the case. The term 'Revive', according to the folks over at Trojan, refers to that period of Jamaican music that trails the rocksteady era and precedes reggae's eventual domination on the island (the tracks here were all recorded between 1968 and 1969.) And, unlike our expectations, the 50 cuts in this collection are really quite great. If you're a fan of rocksteady, or even ska and early reggae you should definitely take note of this collection: organ is the lead instrument of choice on at least a third of the set, but there's a heap of horns to be found here as well. Vocals are often taken by two lead vocalists, sometimes backed by a chorus and though firmly Jamaican in style, the soul influence is indelibly marked in these arrangements. There are quite a few excellent early roots tracks to boot, such as Al & the Vibrators "Going Back Home", and Count Ossie's "Blacker Black" (with some heavy nyabhinghi drumming.) What's better is that the tracks Trojan has unearthed here are all rare goodies that collectors of Jamaican 7"s salivate over. This might be the Trojan box to own if you have to choose only one.
AL & THE VIBRATORS "Going Back Home" RealAudio clip:
COUNT OSSIE & HIS BAND "Blacker Black (aka Africa)" RealAudio clip:
THE SILVERTONES "Intensified Change"
V/A Trojan Rocksteady Box (Trojan) 3lp 37.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The consistently popular Trojan box sets are now being issued on LP at long last. The sets all appear to be identical to their cd counterparts in design and content, only being slightly more pricey. A collection of tracks from the relatively brief, but fruitful Rocksteady era (1966 - 1969), a genre sandwiched betwixt the end of ska and the beginning of reggae. Known for its down tempo rhythms, smooth soulful vocals, and the rise of the keyboard (organ) as lead instrument. The artists here speak for themselves: Alton Ellis, Desmond Dekker, The Melodians, The Maytals, Justin Hinds & the Dominos, The Ethiopians, Phyllis Dillon, Lee Perry, Tommy McCook, and much more.
V/A Trojan Rocksteady Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
A collection of tracks from the relatively brief, but fruitful Rocksteady era (1966 - 1969), a genre sandwiched betwixt the end of ska and the beginning of reggae. Known for its down tempo rhythms, smooth soulful vocals, and the rise of the keyboard (organ) as lead instrument. The artists here speak for themselves: Alton Ellis, Desmond Dekker, The Melodians, The Maytals, Justin Hinds & the Dominos, The Ethiopians, Phyllis Dillon, Lee Perry, Tommy McCook, and much more.
V/A Trojan Roots Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
This set features 50 tracks of Roots Rastafarian music from the seventies, the golden era of Roots music. Featuring Sugar Minott, Johnny Osbourne, Horace Andy, Big Youth, Peter Tosh, The Ethiopians, Linval Thompson, The Abyssinians, and more.
V/A Trojan Rude Boy Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
Speaking out on social issues and healthy debates (or downright rhetorical battles) have both been long standing hallmarks of lyrical tradition in Jamaican music. Any number of dialectics in the form of a compilation could be eeked from the material streaming out of Jamaica over the last four decades. For its part, the Rude Boy phenomenon is as good a topic as any. The term applies to neer-do-well youths who began showing up to dances in the mid sixties to pick fights and otherwise spoil the fun of those out to have a good time. Their presence was troublesome in the least and tragic at their worst, as some innocent bystanders even lost their lives when shootouts erupted on the dancefloor. It's even been mythologized that the Rocksteady's formation came about as a direct result from the practice of Rude Boys intentionally dancing slow during the fast paced ska tunes; their aim to cause some unwitting couple to collide with them, giving them a reason to pick a fight. All claims to the myth's validity aside, it underscores the effect the Rude Boys had on Jamaica's musical climate. So it should come as no surprise that Rude Boys were weighed in on by just about everyone in the business: pro and con. On the one hand they were touted as heroes: likened to modern day Robin Hoods. But on the other, they were ruthless trouble makers who's victims were other poor black Jamaicans. Trojan puts together (once again exactly) 50 tracks from as far back as 1965 from just about everyone who was anyone weighing in on the issue: Alton Ellis, The Heptones, Baba Brooks, Desmond Dekker, Justin Hinds, Derrick Morgan, Lee Perry, Peter Tosh, John Holt, Johnny Clarke and more. I say "just about" everyone, because there is one name that is conspicuously absent from the list: Prince Buster. It was Prince Buster after all who started the -- as we would call it now -- flame war that makes up at least one disc full of songs on this three disc set. In 1967 Prince Buster recorded his notorious "Judge Dread", in which Buster holds court to sentence Rude Boys (aptly played by his band) to "400 years". The reason for this crucial song's absence (not to mention Prince Buster's follow ups "The Appeal" and "Barrister Pardon") I suspect is because Trojan records is too cheap to pay the licensing fee to include it on this comp (remember the Trojan Mod Reggae Box? Same deal), so an otherwise definitive collection becomes a bit of a half-assed attempt. Still, there are some great tracks on this set, and if you really want to hear all sides of the story, we've managed to get more copies of the Judge Dread album by Prince Buster on CD.
BABA BROOKS & HIS BAND "Guns Fever" RealAudio clip:
ALTON ELLIS & THE FLAMES "Cry Tough" RealAudio clip:
HONEYBOY & THE VOICES "Dreader Than Dread"
V/A Trojan Selecta: Volume 4 (Trojan) cd 8.98
V/A Trojan Singles Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
The Trojan label was originally launched in the UK by the B&C/Island partnership, as an outlet for the production work of Duke Reid. Following B&C's descision to split away from Island, and the latter's decision to withdraw from Jamaican music, a new company called Trojan Records was set up. In 1968 the Trojan label was relaunched, with a batch of UK recordings produced by Robert Thompson, who used the name Dandy (and Brother Dan) for his work. Before long, Jamaican produced releases replaced the UK sides, and a string of high quality records hit the shops. Most of the top Jamaican producers saw their work issued here on Trojan... By the end of 1969, a little over a year since the relaunch, Trojan penetrated the UK singles chart for the first time, scoring hits with discs by the Pioneers, Harry J All Stars, and Jimmy Cliff." [from the liner notes.] The fifty rock-steady and reggae tracks in this box range from 1968 to 1978 and include several songs never before released on LP or CD by noted luminaries as: Derrick Morgan, The Melodians, The Maytals, The Pioneers, Derrick Harriot, Donna Hinds and more.
V/A Trojan Ska Box Set (Trojan) 3cd 26.00
The genre that saw Jamaican music move from the heavily Rhythm & Blues and Soul influenced Blues Beat into its own unqiue and beutiful form - up tempo, punchy, and loaded with horns. Featuring tracks by: Lord Tanamo, Baba Brooks, Desmond Dekker, The Skatalites, Roland Alphonso, Derrick Morgan, Don Drummond, The Ethiopians, The Techniques, Jimmy Cliff, Clancy Eccles, Lee Perry and much more.