Reggae . Dub . Dancehall . Ska . Rocksteady


Genre pick of the week Cover of Mod Mod Ranglin by Ernest Ranglin.

Ernest Ranglin

Mod Mod Ranglin

'Mod Mod Ranglin' is a fusion of ska and Caribbean instrumentals by Ernest Ranglin recorded in 1966 while ska was changing towards Rocksteady. Although Ernest Ranglin recorded 8 solo albums at Federal Records, 'Mod Mod Ranglin' was the only album with ska instrumentals, interestingly. The album consists of classic ska, mento and Carribean songs of all times. From the start to the end, Ernie's guitar playing flutters like Caribbean breeze. The instrumental song entitled 'Felicia' is a perfect number for all ska lovers.

Gladstone Anderson, Lynn Taitt & The Jets

Glad Sounds

Trinidad born legendary guitarist, Lynn Taitt, who brought the first wave of Rocksteady to the Island, and Gladdy Anderson who is well known as a Skatalites' pianist, got together to record this Rocksteady instrumental album 'Glad Sounds' at Federal Studio in 1968. Released from the Merritone label, which was managed under Federal, the album depicts the heyday and best sound of Rocksteady as well as the label itself. This album is for the first time reissued by Dub Store Records. The album tracks consist mainly of cover versions of popular tracks, which were produced by Coxsone Dodd, Bunny Lee and Sonia Pottinger. Lynn Taitt and Gladstone Anderson added gentle flavors to their versions by their distinctive instrumental plays. Federal's recording facility made possible to maintain this sound quality. This is certainly another classic album to add to your collection!

Ernest Ranglin

Mr. Ernie Ranglin With Soul

A very rare rocksteady album by the Jamaican guitar virtuoso, Ernest Ranglin. Unlike all the other musicians in those days, Ranglin was not allowed to go between studios to record and release music as he wished because he was an exclusive employee of the Federal records. Thus it's really hard to find a Rocksteady record with his name on it. Although whenever he found a spare time, he would go to Duke Reid's studio and play the guitar and bass as a sideman, often playing sessions with Lynn Taitt. According to Ranglin himself, "I felt really comfortable being at Duke Reid's studio", though sadly there have not been a single release of his solo guitar tune which was recorded there.

So here comes the album, it's the rare rocksteady instrumentals by the man himself. Some of the main features would be "Summertime", "Flamingo" and "Hold Me Tight", the wickedest selection of the moist Rocksteady that will certainly catch your heart. Other than that, there are the uptempo "Sling Shot", the relatively arranged towards pop direction "Don't Sleep In the Subway" and some ballads to represent the Federal's widely ranged style that won't go off after a long time, exactly how this one of the biggest leading labels in Jamaica had thought of. This may not make Rude Boys in downtown growl, although it will clearly last eternally as Ranglin's 60s best album to the future generations.

From the very successful Jamaican Recordings 7’’ Singles Club series, here comes the 22nd release. This time we're treated to U Roy’s 1970 chart topper "Wake the Nation". A typical sounding early reggae release, the song comes complete with chirruping organ and funky organic mix-it-up reggae backing. U Roy's mic chat has loads of reverb on it as well - fab. On the flip we get 'Non Violence', which uses the same rhythm, but U Roy now has to battle with the organist, who is playing the melody from Bob Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind".

'More Jammys From the Roots' puts a spotlight mid to late eighties Jammy’s productions of some of reggae's finest rhythms both vintage ('Stalag', 'Real Rock' 'African Beat', 'Satta') and up-to-the-time ('32 Chip', 'Run Down The World'). Featured vocalists include Junior Murvin, Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, Johnny Osbourne and Wailing Souls. Multiple tracks in the collection are available here for the first time on CD. Reggae fans will be delighted to find these sought after recordings available again. 'More Jammy’s From The Roots' will be eagerly snapped up by the growing reggae audience increasingly finding the mid-eighties ‘digital revolution’ to be another ‘golden age’ in reggae.

Available as 2-CD set with 32 tracks (including 15 of them first time available on CD) including booklet with extensive liner notes, or 20 track double vinyl.

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