Review: When Inhmost made their debut on Greta Cottage Woodpile in 2015, we remarked on the quality of their picture-perfect tributes to the cosmic, soul-warming sound of 1990s ambient labels such as Fax and Apollo. "Everything Is New", their belated second album, takes a similar widescreen, retro-futurist approach, with the publicity-shy duo delivering impeccably crafted, exceedingly atmospheric workouts that variously doff a cap to Global Communication ('Aurulia'), Pete Namlook (the quiet and contemplative 'Break Down'), Space Time Continuum ('Deeper Thoughts'), the Irresistible Force ('Sleep Walk'), Ninja Tune's almost forgotten N Tone label ('Spectrum'), and the more ambient end of Richard H Kirk's Sandoz project (the warm and wonderful 'Sometime For Time').
Review: Indica Dubs and Music Mania link up once more for their 18th release, which comes from two of the UK dub top legends and pioneers in Alpha & Omega and The Disciples. This album was first put out in 1998, but only in CD format. Now two deuces later it makes its first ever appearance on vinyl and is as crucial as ever, with its crisp and fresh, steel plated dub sounds and warrior leads. The iconic 'Roaring Lion' is a well known anthem in the dub scene, loved and admired by all, so gets a welcome inclusion and is sure to once again be heard everywhere as soon as we can enjoy some real life sound system action .
Review: Soul Jazz are the absolute maestros when it comes to putting together overview compilations in whatever genre. They are particularly strong on the ska and dub front, though, as this next project proves. It marks the 20th anniversary of the Studio One Rockers collection just in time for Record Store Day 2020. Owned and founded by Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd, Studio One's output was legendary and very much guided the evolution of reggae music for many years. All the highlights are included here on this special one-off pressing.
Review: Since it first featured on the 1980 album Jah Jah Way, Yabby You's 'Stop Your Quarrelling' has been a perennial feature of many reggae DJ's sets. Three years ago, Pressure Sounds unveiled two previously unheard versions from the Jamaican singer, toaster and producer's vaults, both of which had been featured on one of his own exclusive dubplates. This 45 offers-up those same mixes, this time on a less limited vinyl pressing. The A-side 'Dubplate Mix' is a formidably fuzzy affair and features Yabby You, singing attractively over a chunky riddim, fluid piano solos and tight, clipped guitar riffs. On the flipside 'Version', Yabby You turns it into a stripped back, heavy dub monster replete with snaking saxophone solos and echoing hand percussion.
Review: The latest 45 on the revitalised Soul Beat label, which was first active in the 1970s, offers up some serious buried treasure from producer, musician and vocalist B.B Seaton. Both tracks originally featured on an ultra-rare, white label 45 that slipped out in Jamaica way back in 1969. The A-side, 'Funny Feeling', features Seaton's celebrated trio, the Gaylads, offering fantastic group harmonies and exquisite delivery of Seaton's loved-up lyrics over a chunky rocksteady riddim. Over on the flip you'll find a fine instrumental from the Conscious Minds ('Something New'), which Seaton later reworked to become the basis of Ernest Wilson's 'I Know Myself'.
Review: You can't overestimate the importance of The Heptones in the evolution of Jamaican music, after they defined the transition from ska to rocksteady and on to reggae. This album, "Back On Top", captures the band in the early '80s, when they had reached an international audience after working with Lee 'Scratch' Perry and releasing on Island Records. By this point they were back producing themselves, creating a perfect spanning sweet ballads and upbeat skankers, not to mention a cover of The Beatles' "Yesterday". Lovingly repressed on 180 gram red vinyl, this is a welcome reissue of an album that's been tricky to get hold of for some time, from one of the all time great reggae acts.
Review: Time, apparently, does nothing to diminish the considerable legacy and relevancy of Bob Marley and his trusty Wailers band. Here we are, fifty years after they recorded some of their best material, and still collections of their music are in hot demand. Rebel's Hop: An Early 70's Retrospective captures the energy and essence of the young bands early years on four sides of red and green wax. It offers a fresh perspective on the evolution of the reggae sound as taken to the wider conscious by Robert Nesta Marley, Peter McIntosh and Neville O'Riley Livingston.
Review: This year's Record Store Day also happens to mark 40 years since Bob Marley put out one of his most enduring tunes. 'Redemption Song' carries the same emotional weight now as it always has and on this special, limited edition clear vinyl it comes backed with a band version as well as a live version of 'I Shot The Sheriff.' It's all about that A-side, though, with its acoustic guitars, a subtle backing for Marley's pained and vulnerable vocals. The band version is fleshed out with some swaggering dub and the live version of 'I Shot The Sheriff' is filled with atmosphere and noodling bass riffs.
Xterminator Crew - "Do Some Good" (version) (3:51)
Singing Cologne - "Do Some Good" (3:55)
Xterminator Crew - "True Story" (version) (4:02)
Gott-Yo - "Jah Protect Me" (3:10)
Turbulence - "You Never Been There" (4:05)
Review: Here's one for dedicated reggae and dancehall diggers: a box set boasting seven 45s featuring a range of obscure tracks, sought-after rarities and unreleased cuts from the vaults of the late, great producer - and Exterminator label chief Philip 'Fatis' Burrell. There's naturally some top talent on show - think Dennis Brown, Marcia Griffiths, Sizzla and Beres Hammond - with highlights coming think and fast. Our picks include the summery and soulful digital reggae warmth of Chezidek's 'Earth Feel It', the percussion-rich dancehall heat of Sizzla's 'Marcus Garvey', the rough-cut rhythms and sparkling toaster vocals of Turbulence's 'True Story' and the creepy chords and serious sub weight of Xterminator Crew's 'Do Some Good (Version)'.