Various – King Jammy’s Dancehall Part 2: Digital Roots & Hard Dancehall 1984-1991

by Mar 10, 2017Reviews, Various

Various - King Jammy's Dancehall Part 2: Digital Roots & Hard Dancehall 1984-1991
King Jammy (Photo by Beth Lesser)

Release Info

Title: Various – King Jammy’s Dancehall Part 2: Digital Roots & Hard Dancehall 1984-1991

Label: Dub Store Records | Format: CD-DBL LP-DR | Street date: March 10, 2017 | Website: Dub Store Records

Tracks

  1. Dennis Brown – History
  2. Cornell Campbell – Nothing Don’t Come Easy
  3. Admiral Tibet – Victim Of Babylon
  4. Wailing Souls – Move On
  5. Tinga Stewart – No Drugs
  6. Pad Anthony – Dangerous System
  7. Wackad – Cry For The Youths
  8. Dennis Brown – Tracks Of Life
  9. Al Campbell – Don’t Take Your Gun To Town
  10. Pad Anthony – Gotta Be Strong
  11. Junior Delgado – Run Come
  12. Junior Murvin – Cool Down The Heat
  13. Prince Junior – Crucial Boy
  14. Horace Andy – Love Light Of Mine
  15. Half Pint – One Big Ghetto
  16. King Jammy – Nothing Don’t Come Easy Version
  17. King Jammy – Victim Of Babylon Version
  18. King Jammy – Don’t Take Your Gun To Town Version
  19. King Jammy – Gotta Be Strong Version
  20. Prince Jammy – Crucial Boy Version

Dub Store Records’ compilation series mainly focuses on bringing together the very best heavyweight dancehall tunes from Jammys released during the digital phase of reggae music. “King Jammy’s Dancehall Part 2”, subtitled “Digital Roots & Hard Dancehall 1984-1991” contains fifteen serieus cuts from vocalists and deejays as well as five dub versions.

Just like Part 1, this second compilation gets started with the Crownprince of Reggae, Dennis Brown. The 1985 released lovers lament “History” shows that he’s able to handle the digi riddim in a totally satisfying way. Another example is the sizzling “Tracks Of Life”, which comes across a heavy digital remake of the Studio One classic “Swing Easy”. Dennis Brown’s opener is followed by Cornell Campbell’s beautifully sung “Nothing Don’t Come Easy” from 1987, a real killer and one of the most popular and rare tunes among record collectors. Another digi killer is Admiral Tibet’s “Victim Of Babylon”, voiced over a jaunty riddim with s rough and tough bassline. Obviously the Wailing Souls didn’t record that much in the digital dancehall era, but almost everything they did for King Jammy was well worth hearing. The compatibility of their time-honed harmonies and hard digital instrumentation is very surprising as can be fully experienced when listening to their big tune “Move On”.

Tinga Stewart’s cautionary “No Drugs” is a nice piece, but when it comes to killer tunes Pad Anthony’s “Dangerous System” is the one to check. For this song about systematic oppression he rides the same riddim as Dennis Brown’s “History”. Pad Anthony, who released a large number of classic songs with King Jammy, is also present with the uplifting “Gotta Be Strong”, another huge tune. And the deadly goods just keep on coming with the ultra rare, “Cry For The Youth” by Wackad, a singer who only released a few tracks from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Al Campbell comes up with a boom tune called “Don’t Take Your Gun To Town”, actually a slightly different cut to Junior Murvin’s “Jack Slick” originally released in 1988 on Live & Love 12″ vinyl only. Roots singer Junior Delgado tackles King Jammy’s version of the “Tempo” riddim for the nice “Run Come”. Vocally and lyrically Junior Murvin shines bright on “Cool Down The Heat”, while the little known Prince Junior, a young singer with a high-pitched weeping voice, delivers the amazing “Crucial Boy”, which previously appeared on 12″ vinyl and on the LP “Prince Jammy Presents Vol. 2”. Prince Junior treats the listener to a serious tune about Equal Rights, Justice and Love & Unity. Half Pint’s excellent “One Big Ghetto”, across a digital version of the Blackstones’ classic “Open The Gates”, rounds off the vocal part of this compilation. A really nice addition are the five dub versions at the end of this set.