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Boomkat Product Review:
Listen up - this record contains some of the deadliest digital reggae rhythms and crushing production styles you'll ever hear..ok? Rare as a sensible haircut in hoxton until now, Basic Channel's flawless Basic Replay imprint deliver what must surely count as their juiciest release to date. White Mice [born Allan Crichton] came up through the ranks on Sugar Minott's Youthman Promotions sound system, Jammy's Hi Power and the smaller Ticka Muzik sound from his birthplace - Montego Bay, rising to local celebrity whilst performing with Tenor Saw at Sunsplash 85. Surprising then that recollections of White Mice are scant - friends recall seeing him in Manchester on plymouth grove in reverential terms, and opportunities to buy his music have been even scarcer. Strange also that this music, which with today's ears sound like the foremost in the genre, from the very start of the digital era, has been inexplicably excised from the history books. This was a time before lyrical slackness and gun talk threatened the very bedrock of traditional reggae music, when the heavy conscious lyrical content of the roots era was reforged in the rhythms of early dancehall, a period when the casio shock of sleng teng and tempo caused a huge rumpus. Look to White Mice for the true heavyweight music of the mid to late eighties - the reggae riddims you'd hear in the dances before the electro and early house music of the day, but could never locate for love or money. These tunes are so evocative of this period from which they date - that those other musics seep almost subliminally into the mixes and edits here - elements of weighty old-school electro and the enticing innocence of early hip-hop spring to mind, and its no coincidence then that White Mice's brother Blemo released most of these tunes on his Intelitec label based in Miami. Recorded with Junior Jux Delgado at King Jammy's and Channel One, there's the huge bubblers sound of Tallawah, the lyrical steppers of Try A Thing, the poignant cry of Youths of Today, and throughout the continuous bass roll, reverb driven rimshots and post-compass point atmosphere, within these genuinely shocking productions. Honestly - if you're into anything from Dancehall through to Dubstep, Reggae through to electro - give this a listen and crush yourself silly. Essential Purchase.