Boomkat Product Review:
Studio-as-instrument science from the labs of Kingston’s pioneering Studio One, where the team of engineers, DJs, and artist assembled by Clement “Coxsone” Dodd changed the shape of music as it was known
Soul Jazz put their inestimable compiling skills to work reaping the intense experiments in sound projection and groove of some 17 artists, many sharing common ingredients, put tweaked out in myriad manners of style and pattern built for the dance, radio and back yards. They’ve dug especially deep for this one, plucking ever-salient pieces of reggae spanning roots to funky and dub, vocals and instrumentals, that highlight the way Jamaica punched well above its weight, considering the size of the island and its population, in contrast to almost anywhere else.
There are fittingly lucubrate liner notes from On The Wire legend Steve Barker to bury your nose in, and we’ll highlight but a few of these nuggets to get you in the mood. From the earliest ska days Cedric Im Brooks’ horn and organ-led skanker ‘Glory To Sound’ is a joy, and there’s a nice & easy, modal beauty by Jackie Mittoo on signature keys in ‘Lazy Bones’, contrasting with his slant on US funk chops in the up-and-bustling ’Sunshine of Your Love’, or the soul jazz lilt of Roy Richards’ spin on the standard ’Summertime’.
For the dub nuts, Dub Specialist’s ‘Message From Dub’ also riffs on classic US vibes with unmistakeable JA accent, and takes it groggy as on ‘Chainey Roots’, with Sound Dimension trading in overproof bass and psychedelic mixing on ‘Face Man Version’ and heaviest roots trod located in ‘Dread Head’ by Pablov Black, and if you aren’t bobbing and reeling to ‘Surfing’ (Part 2)’ by Ernest and The Sound Dimension, we can’t help ya.