(93 ‘Til line from Hiero + Adapt)
Question from Morgan: What would you rank as the top three albums you enjoyed in the last ten years that would have surprised the guy you were back in 2003? Follow up: Same question, but for the guy you were in 1993.
Answer: The 2003-2013 question is hard to answer in the way you’re asking if only because 2003 marked an important shift in my thinking about/relationship to music. It was the year I re-embraced pop music in a profound way, leaving [...]
Continue reading 93 TIL + MORE
Llans Thelwell and His Celestials: Grazin’ In the Grass
This Guy’s In Love With You
Good, Bad and Ugly
From An ETC Holiday at the Colony Hotel (Dynamic, 196?)
Caribbean hotel albums tend to be a thankless lot: poorly recorded, full of “hits” mostly meant to appeal to tourists. It’s like K-Tel LPs but with more palms and steel drums in the photos.
This Llans Thelwell and His Celestials album is an absolute exception to that rule. As it appears on Dynamic (home to many a Jamaican artist, [...]
Continue reading CELESTIAL GROOVES: LLANS THELWELL
Sister Nancy: Bam Bam
Roof Over Me Head
Only Woman D.J. With Degree
From One Two (Techniques, 1982)
There’s a new record store in my neighborhood, Strictly Grooves, and I couldn’t be more excited since it’s the kind of used store that’s right up my alley: strong soul, Latin, jazz, etc. representation. I’ve been picking up a slew of stuff there on just my first two trips, including this Sister Nancy LP. This is the origin of “Bam Bam,” by far, her best known song/single and [...]
Continue reading SISTER NANCY: M.C. BE HER AMBITION
Roots Underground: High Times
From Tribesman Assault (City Line, 1977)
It may seem ironic for someone nicknamed “O-Dub” but this is one of the first dub albums I’ve actually acquired. For whatever reason, despite my deep appreciation for Jamaican music and a particular love for rocksteady, I never really “got” dub. On paper, it doesn’t make sense why I wouldn’t be all up into it: deep basslines, atmospheric effects, stripped down rhythms. I can’t really explain it and maybe I simply decided, years ago, “I don’t get [...]
Continue reading TRIBESMAN ASSAULT: DUB DRUBBING
Stranger Cole: Crying Every NIght
From 7″ (Treasure Isle, 1969/1970). Also on Bangarang.
U-Roy and Hopeton Lewis: Tom Drunk
From 7″ (Trojan, 1970). Also on Your Ace From Space.
The thing I love about being totally underinformed when it comes to riddims is discovering both re-uses of certain riddims, or in this case, the originating riddim. I got turned onto “Tom Drunk” because of Reflection Eternal and certainly, if there’s any song that’s associated with this riddim, it’s the U-Roy single. Huge hit, big deal for him at that point in his career.
Continue reading FOLLOW THAT RIDDIM: FROM STRANGER COLE TO U-ROY