Review: High Note and Dub Store Japan delve into the 1977 album "One Essence" by Cedric "Im" Brooks for their next tasty 7". The saxophonist, composer and musical arranger who fused reggae with jazz, sometimes under the watchful eye of the legendary Coxsone Dodd, was a pioneering force in the evolution of reggae away from its more traditional roots. A-side "Blackness Of Darkness" is a gorgeous cut with a sombre lead trumpet line hanging above bubbly, earthy drums and embellished with golden chords and funky bass that will surely find favour with fans of parties like You're A Melody. "Africa Calling" is a slower, deeper lament with more recognisable reggae rhythms.
Review: More from One By One Records' founder Baay Selectah's celebrated Valencia Roots Volume 2 mix-tape, a 2016 set entirely made up of new cuts based on classic roots reggae riddims. The riddim being bitten/paid tribute to this time round is Coxsone Dodd's killer groove for Burning Spear's 'Rocking Time', which has been repurposed by countless reggae producers since. A-side 'Kailen' boasts a rasping, heavily accented lead vocal from toaster-and-singer Missal, whose lilt suits the tweaked Coxsone riddim like a glove. Baay Selectah delivers his own dub style 'Version' on the flip, stripping the track back to the drums and bass before adding jazzy guitar licks and heady Hammond organ-style licks.
Review: Four years ago, One By One Records founder Baay Selectah offered up Valmeria Roots Volume 2, a digital mixtape based on his interpretations of classic roots reggae riddims from the past. It included two new songs based on Coxsone Dodd's legendary 'Breaking Up' riddim, which was first heard on an Alton Ellis single in 1969 and has been repurposed by producers ever since. This limited-edition 7" single features both of Bay Selectah's 2016 tributes: 'When I Found You', featuring toaster style rap vocals from Payoh SoulRebel, and 'Me Nah Trust Dem', which boasts a wonderfully soulful lead vocal from fellow Valmeria Roots crewmember Yeyoh Perez's more soulful and impassioned 'Me Nah Trust Dem'.