Jah Mel is a recording artist, songwriter and musician from Jamaica. Beginning his career as a performer on the stage shows of the Twelve Tribes Of Israel of which he has been a member since his youth, Jah Mel made his debut sharing the stage with artists such as Dennis Brown, Bob Marley, Freddie McGregor, Sugar Minott, Brigadier Jerry & Denroy Morgan. His writing credits include songs written for Marcia Griffiths, Cecile, DaVille, Itana & Jah Mali for whom he also produced tracks on his debut album "El Shaddai". As you'd expect, Mel has worked with the creme of JA's riddim section: Sly & Robbie, Steely & Cleevie, Earl Chinna Smith, Steve ‘Lenky’ Marsden & Donovan Germaine to who’s Penthouse label Jah Mel was signed.
Seeing himself as a musical bridge between the original reggae sound & the dancehall sound of today, representing what he calls the real dancehall revolution, merging the spirituality of the old school & the energy of the new school. "Guiding Star" and "Stand Up To It" are the perfect examples to reinforce this direction. Both songs were produced by Roydale Anderson and released slap bang in the middle of the 80s on his own, Andy's Records.
"Stand Up To It" pairs a bubbling rub-a-dub riddim to sharp off-beat keys while Jah's sufferers vox is evocative and fluid. The dub pushes all that clean 80s digital instrumentation to the foreground, and isn't a million miles away from the Jammy's dancehall sound only with much looser, wilder dub inflections like flailing tape delay and big reverb splashes.
"Guiding Star" instantly turns heads with its meandering piano line, while Mel sounds empowered and riotous on the vocal version. The dub, or 'Dance Mix' is another skilled display behind the dials, with more expressive tape delay and snappy reverbs creating a shuddering, heady dub that's worth the entrance fee alone.
Originals of this release fetch upwards of £300, if you can snag a copy. Jamwax continue our love affair as they officially license this true holy grail of 80s reggae for us all to enjoy... Get in!
STAFF COMMENTSMatt says: Jam Wax really do the do here, re-issuing some mid-80's holy grail type shit. Phenominal!