This LIST is in no particular order, and obviously subjective, but nonetheless the result of a Canadian DJ in his pyjamas going full kid in a candy store through the offerings.
Record Store Day 2018 is a few days away, and we in the WDBX music department have to do our diligent duty as curators and taste makers to giver you a smattering of picks from the expansive (this year, almost 500) selection of releases.
When you wake up on 4/21 and race to your local record store, bear in mind these picks from your buds at WDBX, separated into loose sections, and as always, the disclaimer:
This LIST is in no particular order, and obviously subjective, but nonetheless the result of a Canadian DJ in his pyjamas going full kid in a candy store through the offerings. WDBX takes no responsibility for any offended tastes, overlooked gems, or cranky commenters. It’s not a “top five” it’s a “high five.”
Although much of our content here strays from the typical snack-machine-loitering, hemp-poncho-wearing, sandals-and-socks stoner stereotype…for this we begin, waving the flag of the stereotype high – while listening to reggae music:
Eek-A-Mouse – Ganja Smuggling
With maybe the finest name, in the rich nomenclature of reggae music, Eek-A-Mouse has re-released this monster of a song on GREEN VINYL. Sometimes, everything in the world just falls perfectly into place. printed on hemp paper, and a rare dub version on the flip.
This record is an essential piece of the collection of anyone even casually interested in the art or culture of Jamaica.
Various Artists – Natural High: The Bongo Man Collection
For those of you that like reggae, but don’t fully grasp the rich lineage that transported it from the slums of Jamaica into that Bob Marley Legend CD in the sun-visor of your cool Aunt’s Pathfinder, listen up: it had a lot to do with a man named Clement “Sir Coxonne” Dodd. He was first notable for operating a sound system or “house of joy.” One of the baddest dj’s in the world he rose to the top commanding tunes from towering monstrosity of speakers that would shake neighbourhoods with American soul & early ska and rocksteady reggae in the streets. They would set up, and party down, with dancers, gangsters, and players flocking to the beat from miles around. He was the man in Kingston, and parlayed that fame into making a bunch of essential records at his fabled Studio One. This is the man that signed Bob Marley and Peter Tosh as kids and nurtured their lives and careers. Ahead of his time, forever praised. A critical root of the culture, equal to any who may grows roots, herbs, or dreadlocks until eternity.
This collection is from the Bongo Man imprint, rare, special, from the boutique sub-label that was overseen by the man himself, the architect of the sound that grooved the world. Salute Sir Coxonne Dodd!
A1. Jackie Bernard – Jah Jah Way
A2. Emperor D.P. – Jah Jah Rock
A3. The Classics (aka The Wailing Souls) – Got to Be Cool
A4. The New Establishment – Reggae Lady
A5. Prince Jazzbo – Little Joe
A6. Ernest Wilson – Money Worries
B1. Cliff Stewart – Burn Collie
B2. The New Establishment – Burn Collie Version
B3. Leroy Wallace – Far Beyond
B4. The New Establishment – Far Beyond Version
B5. The Beltones – Soul People
B6. Wentworth Vernal – I Gave You My Heart
B7. Horace Andy – Darling Dear
C1. Prince Lincoln – Live Up to Your Name
C2. Pablove Black & the New Establishment – Poco Tempo (aka Pocco Tempo)
C3. Prince Jazzbo – Ring a Ting
C4. El Tibby and the Stingers – Stepping into Zion
C5. Big Joe – Nanny Version Skank
D1. Sleepy and Jazzbo – Skylarking Disco Mix
Soul Jazz Records Presents – The Studio One Dubplate Special
What is Record Store Day, if not a celebration of beloved formats? It is fitting that the exalted dub plate vault of Sir Coxonne’s Studio One is creaked open for a triumphant release of a bunch of little black discs with big holes in the middle.
The 7” or 45rpm has long been the format in which reggae diggers found their personal heat. It seems so perfect that a release (masterminded by the curators and collectors par excellence at Soul Jazz Records) comes on 7″ wax in a tidy little box set.
You’ll feel like the controller of the finest House of Joy as you flip these special nuggets on and off your turntable all spring and summer long. The collection is as eclectic as it is excellent, with no fat and all fire.
A1: Alton & Cedric – Black People
AA: Cedric Brooks – Soul Eye
A: The Officials – Distant Drums
AA: Cedric Brooks – Power To The People
A: Soul Brothers – Skitting Day
AA: Carey Johnson – Go Ahead
A: Alton & Zoot – Don’t Know What You’re Doing
AA: Brentford All Stars – The World Is A Ghetto
A: Jacob Miller – Westbound Train (Alternate Version)
AA: George Philip – One One (Alternate Version)
Sly & Robbie and Junior Natural – Militant Dub
Drummer Sly Dunbar and Bassist Robbie Shakespeare have welcomed agitprop Scandinavian poet and vocalist Junior Natural into their elite covenant of rumbling dub. It is a coup for the Swedish Natural to get the studio treatment from reggae’s greatest living rhythm section and production duo.
Masters of the dub and beasts of beats, Sly & Robbie have worked with, for, or remixed everyone from Peter Tosh to Michael Franti, with stops at Britney, Grace Jones and Madonna’s along the way. It seems they found fresh ideas and righteous blood in this political nordic wunderkind, and as such, their collaboration Militant is receiving an exclusive dub treatment, on “solid gold vinyl.”
Creation Rebel – Dub From Creation
An albatross to many collectors, and a prized tape CD, Mp3, or playlist to those who know, this record is the 40th anniversary re-release of a reggae music treasure. Creation Rebel is the brainchild of English boardsman Adrian Sherwood (Blur, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails), deftly engineered by Dennis Bovell (Fela Kuti, The Slits, Orange Juice).
The record itself is an example of musicians (the nucleus of the players were already an established backup band) working with love and inspired by keeping it real, a decade before it became a prerequisite of hip hop gravitas. This is the sound of dub enthusiasm and badass beatsmiths using the emerging technology of 1978 to flip the echoes and shouts of roots reggae into a seamless trippy masterpiece.
This is feel good music in its finest form, bubbling, propulsive, yet chill and haunting – this is the kind of reggae that turns a bad trip or a bad day around the other way.
Never before available on vinyl.
See you in line.