Label: Pressure Sounds - PSCD 32 • Format: 2x, CD Compilation • Country: UK • Genre: Reggae, Non-Music • Style: Interview, Dub, Rocksteady
This blog is for reviews of albums and compilations on CD maybe the odd piece of vinyl too Great Blog! I see we share some of the same favorite books. Please drop by my blog or my website: www. Post a Comment. Like the others, it concentrates on tunes from the mids prime of the legendary Black Ark studio; however, this compilation also comes with a bonus CD of radio interviews with Scratch from one of which its title is taken. The tunes presented Sitting On Top Of The World - Cream - Heavy Cream are a varied selection, showing off a full selection of the proliferation of styles and trends at the Ark, yet bound together by the inimitable Perry magic.
Dennis's opener, "Woman and Money", is lyrically rather questionable to say Sons Of Negus - Lee Perry - Divine Madness.Definitely least, with its equation of women to currency as "the two most dangerous things in this world, that a man just can't live without". Simple yet effective spiritual harmonies make this an unashamedly joyful, if sadly rather short, track. In contrast, Milton Henry's "Sweet Taste Of Memory" is a fine example of the lovers side of the Black Ark, comparable to some of Perry's work with the likes of Junior Byles or George Faith, a soaring and oddly isolated vocal weaving its way around a multi-layered, esoteric yet laid-back mix, giving far more depth than such a lyric would usually command.
Eric Donaldson's "Stand Up" is a blissful roots classic, with the swirling, mesmerising Black Ark mixing turned up to full effect, featuring reverberating percussion and snippets of melancholy but somehow simultaneously joyful trombone. Eric is passionately charged with righteousness, Sons Of Negus - Lee Perry - Divine Madness.Definitely relaxed and triumphant as only a Scratch production could make one, joyfully proclaiming "Don't you shed no tears for me, don't you cry no more The dub is a particularly mad one, with cut-up bits of echoing vocal not on the original tuneringing cowbells and extreme use of reverb and distortion: Scratch in deranged genius mode to the fullest extent.
Again there is an odd isolation effect on the vocal, one of Scratch's trademarks on tunes by solo singers. The dub is basically a straight version overlaid by random percussion solos which seem and probably are totally improvised.
Time Unlimited the group which first brought to fame Junior Delgado, later to record the magnificent roots epic "Sons Of Slaves" for Scratch provide the repatriation tune "Africa We Are Going Home", punctuated by dramatically yelping and howling scat vocals perhaps meant to imitate various African animals.
The dub emphasises the jaunty keyboard skank, with ghostly echoes of the group vocals somewhere far in the background, but almost indiscernible on a casual listen. There is a dark yet playful, slightly cinematic mood here that is reminiscent of some Prince Buster ska tunes. Bree Daniels's "Oh Me Oh My" is another fairly insignificant lovers lyric, yet again given weight and depth by Scratch's inspired mixing, that blissful, swirling vibe in effect again, with fuzzy keyboards in the foreground and distant echoes of percussion like waves crashing somewhere behind.
The dub emphasises the fluid, mixed-up textures, bringing back the vocal and various instruments, then dropping them again, and extending for over a minute longer than the vocal to produce a Sons Of Negus - Lee Perry - Divine Madness.Definitely which feels a lot more than the sum of its parts.
The version is also reminiscent of those to Max's well-known tracks, with the bass to the forefront, tantalising snippets of vocal Perry plays on words by cutting the "war" from "warning" and striking, powerful rhythm guitar.
Jimmy Riley's "Sons Of Negus" is even dreader, the most uptempo track on this set, with a powerful, foreboding riddim, and Riley testifying passionately, over dramatic organ crescendos and in his trademark raw, soulful yet uncompromisingly rootsy voice, against false Rastas and acts of slander, while exhorting the true faithful to "stay red now, in the kingdom of dreadlocks". On the version, "Kingdom of Dub", V.
Gigue - Rameau* - Sophie Yates - Pièces De Clavecin overdubs a spoken-word dialogue between a news reporter and a Rasta elder played, of course, by Scratch himselfwhile the heavy riddim bubbles in the background. The set finishes with a glorious, nearly 10 minute long instrumental version, by the inimitable Augustus Pablo here playing both synth keyboards and melodicato George Faith's "To Be A Lover", on which Pablo's playing is so lyrical in tone that, if you know the lyrics to the original which can be found on the Island box set "Arkology"it's almost impossible not to start singing along by the middle of the tune, while playful studio effects complement the rich, warm mood: a beautifully mellow closer to a satisfying, if not necessarily all heavy roots, selection which is guaranteed to leave the listener with a smile.
The accompanying radio interview CD features Scratch talking to reggae journalists Roger Eagle and Steve Barker, starting out in relatively straightforward style talking about Coxsone Dodd, Bob Marley and other Para Los Rumberos - Santana - Santana IIIbut soon getting into the typical Perry rhyming, preaching, Sons Of Negus - Lee Perry - Divine Madness.Definitely lyrics and cryptic plays on words forming a sometimes scary, sometimes funny, sometimes deep and sometimes seemingly wilfully stupid, yet always entertaining stream of consciousness; it's not actually one continuous interview, but edited together from various sessions of the seminal radio Sons Of Negus - Lee Perry - Divine Madness.Definitely "On The Wire" fromand While probably not something that most listeners would want to listen to particularly often, it's certainly a valuable and fascinating, if tantalising, document of the thought processes of one of the most legendary of eccentric geniuses, including his explanation of his infamous burning down of the original Black Ark and his comments on what is often regarded as his masterpiece, the album "Heart of the Congos": however, the highlight is Scratch's 3 When Moonlight Sleeps - DA* - Fearful Symmetry freestyle toast over the super heavy "Ark of the Covenant" riddim from that album, which is track 10 on the disc.
Roots fans may be slightly mystified at first listen by the preponderance of lovers tracks on this set although they will certainly not be disappointed by tunes like "Stand Up", "Take Warning" and particularly "Sons Of Negus" ; however, despite some lyrical quality control issues, sonically this compilation represents the full spectrum of inspired insanity of the Black Ark, and is essential for Scratch fans who want to hear something beyond the better-known tunes from his immensely prolific 70s output.
Another nice one from Pressure Sounds. Posted by stevethehydra at PM. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. About Me View my complete profile.
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