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Andre Tanker

River Come Down

After dropping Andre Tanker’s wonderful “Back Home” on our toes, Jamwax now hit us with "River Come Down" in its 12'' version.

Originally released on the Contraband label in 1979 and recorded at famous Semp studio in Trinidad, “River Come Down” is a blend of islands funk, soul, disco, soca with also a touch of gospel: “River, the river come down, the river come down, the river down...wind blow like a hurricane...the river come down, washing the right, washing the wrong, washing the weak, washing the strong, the river come down...”
On the other side you will find an obscure synth instrumental released on an impossible to find 7'' in 1986. “Movin Round” was produced by Andre Tanker for Horace Wilson's Turn of The Tide. This song was absolutely under the radar and remains a strong banger for any dances.

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Massive tropical disco/Island funk scorchers here from Jamwax, as they reissue two of Andre Tanker's top tonkers on one club ready 12". On the A-side, "River Come Down" rolls its low slung groove along like the deepest Black funk, while the flip breezes in with drum machines and tropical flavours - perfect for any Badarou fans out there.

Ital Foundation came together in the winter of 1977, out of a shared belief in Rastafarianism and deep love of reggae music in their home place Bermuda. Their music tackles global issues of colonialism, poverty, prophecy and redemption. They released only one album in their legendary career, the 1980 release "Ital Foundations Vol.1". A tumultuous history rought with trial and tribulation resulted in Ital Foundation being an underground musical movement that saw record sales all over the world while the band languished in obscurity.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Jamwax continue to blow my beak, week after week with more rare-ass reggae for the smokers, lovers & dancers alike. Jah!

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 COMMENTS

Matt says: Jam Wax really do the do here, re-issuing some mid-80's holy grail type shit. Phenominal!

Tony Clarke is from Waterhouse, St. Andrew Jamaica. At the tender age of 10 he started following sound systems like Sir Mike The Musical Dragon with the great toaster Prince Ruff at the controls, and King Tubby's with the legendary U-Roy. Tony Clarke did his first recording in New York in 1971 at Hugh Hendricks recording studio called "Righteous Man" of which he played both bass and lead guitar. The band was later managed by the legendary band leader/trombonist Carlos Malcolm.

Tony Clarke decided to write the song "Going Home" to reference the roots of his music. In those days and even now good reggae music that was being recorded in the United States was not receiving the approbation from home because, in Jamaica they felt that the best reggae music could only come from and be created in Jamaica to substantiate the true feeling of the genre. So he decided to go back to Jamaica and record "Going Home" at Harry J Studio with Sylvan Morris as engineer. The rhythm track was played by Lloyd Parks (Bass), Devon Richardson (Drum), Andy Bassford (Lead Guitar), Winston 'Bo-Pee' Bowen (Rhythm Guitar), Franklyn 'Bubbler' Waul (Keyboard), David Madden & Junior 'Chico' Chin (Horns). He also recorded the cover version to "Hey Little Girl" originally done by Dee Clark. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Jamwax really do us all a favour here by reissuing some proper sunny, island reggae vibes. Swapping the reefer soaked dread for margaritas and white sand, both tracks here sit nice alongside the whole 'Beach Diggin' sound as much as traditional reggae offerings. Tip!

Joe White & Roots Trunks & Branches

Rising / Power Disco Power

Joseph White aka Joe White is a foundation of Jamaican music. He started singing in the late 50's and did his first recordings for Duke Reid in the early 60's. He moved to Sonia Pottinger's label later and get a first success in 1965 with the song "Every Night". He also recorded for Prince Buster, Coxsone Dodd and Rupie Edwards. In the 70's, Joe White was one of the only melodica player in Jamaica with Augustus Pablo, Peter Tosh and Bobby Kalphat. He released beautiful melodica instrumentals like "Kenyata", "Call Me Trinity" for Derrick Harriott and "Cheer Up" for Glen Brown. Joe White was also a member of the famous BB Seaton's backing/studio band The Conscious Minds. In the mid seventies, he moved to London and released his classic album "Love For Every Family".

Much more disco and afro-beat influenced than the trad reggae offerings also reissued by Jamwax this week, "Rising Power Disco" sounds like summat family Kuti or James Brown would have had a part in. Funky licks, empowered vocal and plenty of horn / wah wah guitar action locking us into its unrelenting groove. It's taken from the 1978 album "The Weak Will Be Strong". On the other side we get a deep and dubwise cut, "Ain't No Way / The Monster", which utilizes horns and loud bass to accompany a tight but skeletal drum section which is nicely dubbed out via mixing desk trickery. Excellent!


Steve Knight

Robber Man

MASSIVE 7" here from Jamwax, hitting us with a fresh pressing of Steve Knight's mighty "Robber Man", a hard hitting track about the dangers of life in the ghetto. Painfully real social commentary, amazing vocals and a fat version of the World A Music riddim make for an all out classic, while things only get heavier on the B-side dubmix. These won't stick around for long, so don't miss your chance.


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