Reggae . Dub . Dancehall . Ska . Rocksteady


Genre pick of the week Cover of Rastafari - The Dreads Enter Babylon 1955-83 by Various Artists.
Soul Jazz Records' new album 'Rastafari: The Dreads Enter Babylon 1955-83' charts the many links between reggae music and the Rastafarian faith.

Featuring the music of Count Ossie, Johnny Clarke, The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Ras Michael and The Sons of Negus, Bongo Herman, Roy Ashanti (Congos), Earth & Stone, Mutabaruka and many more, this is an in-depth look at some of the most unique and righteous music ever made and comes complete with a 40+ page outsize booklet, containing exclusive photography and extensive historical and contextual sleevenotes.

At the source of the music of Rastafari is the figurehead master drummer and leader Count Ossie, who first brought the deeply spiritual nyabinghi and burro rhythms, heard and played at sacred Rastafarian grounation (reasoning) sessions, into popular Jamaican music through his many collaborations and performances with artists - from The Skatalites to The Folks Brothers - and producers, including Clement Dodd, Prince Buster and Harry Mudie.

At the start of the 1970s Count Ossie formed the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari with saxophonist Cedric Brooks, which immediately became the most significant group of the Rastafari faith, bringing together authentic rasta nyabinghi drumming together with spiritual and avant-garde jazz influences of Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders and Albert Ayler into a truly unique and groundbreaking sound.

From the earliest proto-rasta beginnings on vinyl, Lord Lebby's 1955 mento recording 'Etheopia', through to the raw, afro-jazz roots sounds of Count Ossie to the deep and heavy roots reggae of the 1970s (Johnny Clarke, Earth & Sound, Roy Ashanti of the Congos and others), this album covers nearly 30 years of revolutionary music.

This album comes in three separate formats: Deluxe CD with slipcase and 40-page outsize booklet or deluxe limited-edition heavyweight gatefold-vinyl edition + free download code (with full sleeve notes etc.).

Hot on the heels of his recent Eddie Kendricks/Q Tip outing on the 2Dogs imprint, Redmo once again comes up trumps with this 2 tracker on the newly formed Felt Tip label. The all time Bob Marley classic 'Is This Love' get's stripped back to its absolute bare bones then strung back together resulting in a majestic dubbed out acoustic masterpiece. All the original parts...horns, guitar, piano and of course the vocals (both lead & backing) are brought back to life in an arrangement and version that's sure to raise pulses and eyebrows alike. On the flip we have 'Sadi Soul'.....A double bass led jazz-funk groover which we believe is based on a rather rare 70's Belgium jazzer that's worth a pretty penny or two! Redmo gets us instantly locked in with the drums underpinned by that walking bass line, vibes slip n slide effortlessly over the top resulting in mightily cheeky little dance floor gem. Keep 'em peeled.....Redmo is one to look out for!

Guts - a French producer exiled in Ibiza, and Mambo - a cult Los Angeles-based painter, present their third helping of their widely acclaimed 'Beach Diggin' series, a scintillating summery selection of obscure but wonderful soul, funk, disco, Latin, reggae and tropical beats. This time round vibes arrive from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Guadeloupe, Saint Thomas, the USA and Canada. It's the season of the juiciest, sweetest fruit, of shorts, tank tops and thongs, the time of year when you look at life through a dark pair of sunglasses. Summer is also the time of year when lovers of soul, disco, funk, bossa, jazz and other similar grooves get together to enjoy the sunny vibrations sampled by Guts and Mambo from the world over. Since 2013, this duo has trademarked their discoveries with the appellation Beach Diggin', a label that certifies the quality and rarity of its products and guarantees a maximum dose of sunshine for every groove. Braving the hordes of sugar-hungry bees swarming around boxes of Caribbean records, the humidity in the holds of boats, or jostling to save 45's lying on the ground from being trampled underfoot, Guts and Mambo, at the risk of their own lives, have explored the most far-flung corners of the earth, all for a single purpose: To discover and to share.

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