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Niney The Observer

At King Tubby’s Dub Plate Specials 1973-1975 - 2022 Reissue

    Winston ‘Niney’ Holness, A.K.A. The Observer must be one of reggae’s finest Roots Rebel producers. Capable of making some of the heaviest, innovative music, not only in sound but also in the Cultural/Political sense. Born George Boswell, Montego Bay, Jamaica,1951, and name checked ’Niney’, due to losing a thumb in a workshop accident. He began his career in music by organising bands to play at school dances. But his first steps learning the musical ropes came working under the tutor ledge of producer Bunny Lee around 1967, organising sessions for Bunny’s stable of artists. He moved on to work alongside Lee Perry at Joe Gibb’s ‘Amalgamated’ label setup, where on Lee Perry’s leaving in 1969 to start his own ‘Upsetter’ label, Niney became chief engineer.

    Inspired by Perry’s success it wasn't long before his own ‘Destroyer’ label was under way. It was 1970, and his first production entitled ‘Mr Brown’ by DJ’s Dennis Alcapone and Lizzy, proved to be a minor hit, but his own ‘Blood and Fire’ track released in December of that year would become a major hit. After initial problems with it’s likeness to Bob Marley’s ‘Duppy Conqueror’, being ironed out, it’s reissue on his now named ‘Observer’ label, saw it go on to become, Jamaican Record of the Year 1971. Far out selling Bob Marley’s track to the tune of over 30,000 copies in Jamaica alone. A roots classic...

    Niney's reputation for building great roots tracks, was furthered with more success working with singer Max Romeo. Issuing cuts such as 'Beard man Feast', the great 'Reggae Matic' and 'Aily and Ailaloo' and renewing his relationship with Lee Perry on the track 'Rasta Band Wagon' who's production credit read Perry, Niney, Maxie. In 1973, Niney began working with Dennis Brown, who was already an established star from an early age, they found a chemistry that went on to produce some of Dennis's finest work.The 1973 hit 'Westbound Train' was followed in 1974 by 'Cassandra', 'I am the Conqueror' and the timeless 'No more shall I Roam'.Another important connection around this time was the great King Tubby who Niney would take his tapes along to and even record some of his tracks at Tubby's house, 18 Drummlie Avenue, Kingston, which doubled as his Studio of Dub.

    It's these tracks that we are concentrating on here, Tubby would strip the tracks back to the bone and rebuild them sometimes leaving off the hook line. Weather that be the horn line or keyboard line and adding effects over the top that could disguise the cut even more. Even Niney stating that when Tubby had finished with a cut, he found it hard to recognise the track himself.

    It's these tracks as dub plate specials that Tubby would play on his Hometown HI - FI Sound System and it's these such tracks that we have compiled for this release. Dub Plates that have not seen the light of day since tragically the great Osbourne Ruddock A.K.A. King Tubby was gunned down and murdered on the 06th of December 1989. For a few dollars and a gold chain, reggae music has lost one of its most inventive, creative forces.

    Niney also cut tracks with many other reggae giants, Gregory Issac's, Michael Rose, Junior Delgado, Horace Andy, Delroy Wilson to name but a few. As in house producer at the legendary Channel studios and supervising sessions at Dynamic and Randy's Studio17, his magic touched many. DJ, Arranger, Producer, his Roots Rebel Music still stands the test of time.


    TRACK LISTING

    1 Set Dub Free
    2 Lately Dub
    3 Dub With Tubby
    4 Dub Exclusive
    5 In Love With Dub
    6 No More Dub
    7 Here Comes Dub
    8 Tenement Dub
    9 Swallow Field & Dub
    10 Dubbing With Sally
    11 Dark Side Of Dub
    12 Dub In Silver
    13 Truthful Dub*
    14 Dub Born Here*
    *CD Bonus Tracks

    Back in '03 Jay Z went for the throne with the release of "The Black Album", an all killer, no filler set of bombastic rap brilliance on which Jay perfected his middle-career flow - a lopsided, effortless approach to rapping which masked the intricate wordplay within. Though that LP featured an A-list cast of production talent, for this limited record, Hova's been hauled to Kingston, where his vocals have been introduced to some mega Jamaican beats concocted by some of the most well known riddims in reggae. Pro Tools creativity at its finest!

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. December 4th
    A2. Encore
    A3. Change Clothes
    A4. Dirt Off Your Shoulder
    A5. Threat
    B1. Moment Of Clarity
    B2. 99 Problems
    B3. Interlude
    B4. Justify My Thug
    B5. Lucifer
    B6. Allure

    Lee Perry Vs Bunny Striker Lee

    Dub Soundclash

      What two great producers other then Lee Perry and Bunny Lee would be best suited for a Dub Soundclash. Both producers were integral at the birth of Dub music and would share many rhythms and sessions, their musical paths would cross all through their careers.

      It was in fact Bunny Lee’s rhythm that provided the back drop to Lee Perry’s ‘Shocks of Mighty cut. Jobs were passed from one to the other, Bunny Lee taking over Lee Perry’s position at Wirl records. Yes two producers whose paths always seemed to cross as it does with this release.

      We have selected some of Lee Perry’s rhythms, side one of this set, against some Bunny Lee rhythm on side two.You can hear the distinctive sound of Lee Perry’s Black Ark studio with his echo-plex giving his trademark whirling sound against Bunny Lee’s rhythms cut at many different studios. The winner of the Soundclash? We will leave that decision up to you the listener…..

      But in this Dub session there is no loser…

      ALL KILLER ..NO FILLER…ENJOY…

      TRACK LISTING

      Track 1 WAR INNA DUB Source:war Inna Babylon Rhythm
      Track 2 VAMPIRE DUB Source:vampire Rhythm
      Track 3 CURLY DUB Source:curly Locks Rhythm
      Track 4 WORDS DUB Source:words Rhythm
      Track 5 JUDGEMENT DUB Source:judgement Day Rhythm
      Track 6 PRAISING DUB DUB Source:thanks And Praise Rhythm
      Track 7 FIXING DUB Source:mr Fix It Rhythm
      Track 8 EVERY TRICK DUBWISE Source:every Trick In The Book Rhythm
      Track 9 PROMOTING DUB Source:everybody Need Promotion Rhythm
      Track 10 A HEAVENLY DUB Source:heaven Less Rhythm
      Track 11 M16 DUB STYLE Source:m16 Rhythm
      Track 12 A REAL ROCKING DUB Source:real Rock Rhythm
      Track 13 A DRIFTING WOOD Source:drifting Rhythm
      Track 14 SOLOMON WISE DUB*source:soloman Was A Wise Man Rhythm
      Track 15 SCRATCH CREATION DUB*source:scratch Creation Rhythm
      Track 16 BRUSH ME DUB* Source:sweaty Come Brush Me Rhythm
      *CD Bonus Tracks

      Johnny Clarke

      Dread A Dub

        Johnny Clarke is one of the great vocalists that ruled the Jamaican Dancehall scene from the mid - 1970s to the early 1980’s. While Bob Marley was out conquering the world, Dennis Brown, Gregory Issacs and Johnny Clarke were winning the hearts of the Jamaican people. Johnny Clarke’s use of the ‘Flying Cymbal‘ sound took the Island by storm and produced a run of hit singles few could match.

        Johnny Clarke (b.1955, Jamaica, West Indies) cut his first record ‘God Made The Sea and Sun’, after winning a local singing contest in the Bull Bay area of Jamaica. Although the single was not a hit, it led to two follow up tracks for producer Rupie Edwards, ’Everyday Wandering’ and ‘Julie’ that fared much better, both on the island and oversees in England and Canada. These tracks also brought the singer to the attention of producer Bunny Lee and a working relationship that would go on to produce a prolific catalogue of music. Johnny Clarke’s Dread Conscious / Love Song style were to grace many hits around this time in 1974. Such tunes as ‘None Shall Escape The Judgement’, ‘Move Out of Babylon’, ‘Rock With Me Baby’, ‘Enter The Gates With Praise’ to name but a few. All new songs added to a host of cover tunes, recommended by Bunny Lee, many taken from the singer John Holt’s catalogue, that suited Clarke’s vocal style. The rhythms were cut at various studios around the Island. Randy’s Studio 17, Channel 1, Treasure Isle, Dynamic Sounds and Harry J’s, by a group of musicians loosely called the Aggrovators and some tunes incorporating the ‘Flying Cymbal’ sound again introduced by Bunny Lee, working the HiHat in fine style. The tracks were then taken to King Tubby’s studio where Johnny Clarke’s vocals would be voiced.

        The Congos possess what all bands look for, that unique distinctive sound that draws the listener in. Alongside the great songs, lead singer Cedric Myton’s singing, phasing and falsetto voice makes that just the case. The Congos were formed by Cedric Myton (b. 1947, St Catherine, Jamaica) around the mid-Seventies when the Rasta message was central to the reggae sound coming out of Kingston, Jamaica. But he had started out in the Rocksteady era, when he formed the vocal group ‘Tartans’, taking lead vocal duties alongside Devon Russell, Prince Lincoln Thompson and Lindbergh Lewis.They cut ‘Dance All Night’ (1967) and ‘Coming On Strong’ (1968). The line-Up became The Royal Rasses and from this Cedric moved on to form the Congos on meeting Roydel Johnson, who had previously sang with Ras Michael and the Sons of Negas. Cedric’s Rasta roots were firmly in place when he went to work with producer Lee Perry to cut the seminal album ‘Heart Of The Congos’ at Perry’s just built, Black Ark Studios in 1977. Cedric Myton has carried on the mantle, cutting a set of tunes with the help of his good friend Mr Brent Dowe, who had previously sang lead vocals with the Melodians. This is the dub set to the vocal album released on the Kingston Sounds label called ‘The Congos Feast’. With such strong songs, rhythms and vocals it always had the chemistry for a great dub set. Hope you agree and enjoy the dub excursion…

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Philippa says: The dub set to the vocal album 'The Congos Feast'.

        TRACK LISTING

        1 A Fat Dub
        2 A Party
        3 Gods Kingdom Dub
        4 Carry To The Well Dub
        5 Beng Come Down Dub
        6 Rasta Congo Dub
        7 Some A Dub
        8 Citizen Dub
        9 Watch & Pray Dub
        10 King Rastafari Dub
        11 Take It To Dub
        12 Heaven Dub
        13 Grandma Say Dub*
        14 Start A New Dub*
        15 Rasta Weh She Dub*
        *CDBONUS TRACKS


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