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333

Rare as hen's teeth digital dancehall from out of late 80s/early 90s NYC, via Cooly aka Koolindian aka Super Cat's cousin Andrew Maragh, originally released on his own Mad Indian Records - reissued here for Death Is Not The End sub-label 333.

Maragh sang in church choirs and on soundsystems in Jamaica before moving to New York in the 1980s where he quickly became involved on the underground music circuit, taking inspiration from his cousin the legendary Super Cat. "Freedom" was penned while he was incarcerated, and details the unfairness of the judicial system at that time, alongside the heartfelt need to "hustle everyday to make ends meet, whether that's picking up scrap metal or cutting lawns or voicing dubplates, whatever you do to make a dollar", says Maragh.

Having bought an Ampex tape in Manhattan, Maragh headed over to the legendary Philip Smart's HC&F studio on Long Island with the intention of laying down his lyrics on the version to Dennis Brown's "Children of Israel". After hearing the song however, Smart went ahead and built this one-away "Freedom" rhythm on the spot. The track was then carried to Count Shelly's Super Power Records where it was then pressed & distributed as the first and only release on the Mad Indian label around the turn of 1989/1990.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Absolutely blessed with digital reggae vibes at the moment with the ongoing Digi Killer campaign alongside this special release from Cooly. Amazing how many truly rare records are still yet to be excavated from the reggae and dub genre (surely in part due to all the wild west style, illicit pressing that has characterized the industry). Currently only one available 2nd hand - and it'll set you back three ton!

TRACK LISTING

1. Freedom
2. Freedom Version

Stanford Shirley

The System

333 reissues a massive sought-after and obscure Jazzbo-produced 45 from Stanford Shirley. The System was recorded at Harry J's studio and released in 1987 on the late Linval Carter's Ujama label. Though one of the lesser known cuts from Jazzbo's late 80s production stable, it is surely up there with one of the best. Killer archetypal digi business.

TRACK LISTING

1. The System
2. The System Version

Frankie B

Pressure Me

Death Is Not The End sub-label 333 hit again with a reissue of a rarely encountered piece of prime UK digi, courtesy of Franklyn Bernard aka Frankie B - mixed at Fashion's A Class Studio in Clapham, and released on the Ital Stuff label in early 1986.

Frankie B began his recording career with producer Bert Douglas, first releasing on his Reggae City label in 1984 with the No More Tears 7" under his birth name Franklyn Bernard. In 1985 he then linked up with Ital Stuff - a production team consisting of three brothers who also helmed the Sweet & Bitter Band. Operating a small eight track studio in the basement of their house in Balham, Ital Stuff had recently been responsible for putting together and laying down the backing track to Dixie Peach's classic Pure Worries, released on the Jah Tubbys label in 1985. Upon playing Pure Worries to Frankie he was immediately inspired to lay down his own vocal on the track, which too features Dixie Peach contributing vocal harmonies - it was recorded late 1985 and mixed down along with a ferocious dub side at South London's A Class Studio, eventually seeing release in early 1986.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Speaker-tweakin', UK digi dub from 1986 and a true sound system joint that's remained deliciously illusive until now. One of only two records by the producer.

TRACK LISTING

1. Pressure Me
2. Dub Pressure

Jasaro People

Suffering

Death Is Not The End sub-label 333 drops a huge late-70s UK roots grail in the form of Jasaro People's Suffering 45. Originally pressed up in super limited quantities and self-distributed out of North West London in 1976, this record was rare even when it was new. Now given fresh new life thanks to a license courtesy of Jasaro's Everand Thompson.

TRACK LISTING

1. Suffering
2. Timba Version

Prince Jazzbo

Replay

Death Is Not The End's 333 returns to follow a reissue of the sub-label's eponymous 45 by Prince Jazzbo, with another crucial shot from his Ujama catalogue - a much-needed reproduction of the original Replay 45, complete with vocal & version. Fully licensed from the late great foundation deejay's family. A must.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Hen's-teeth rare dancehall deejay tackle here date of origin unknown! I'd hazard a guess at mid 80s, due to its primitive digital production but don't let that detract from its speaker busting soundsystem potential. This is underground as fuck! Mega reissue. Don't sleep!

TRACK LISTING

1. Replay
2. Replay Version


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