King Kong – In The Old Capital, Vol. 1
Title: King Kong – In The Old Capital, Vol. 1
Label: Old Capital Records | Format: DR | Street date: May 26, 2017 | Website: King Kong
- Old Time Gorilla
- King On His Throne
- Cyaan Break Me
- No Run Around Girl
- Gorilla Dub
- Working Dub
- Dub On His Throne
- Cyaan Dub Me
- No Run Around Dub
Dennis Anthony Thomas aka King Kong, started his career as a deejay under the name Junior Kong at Tuff Gong, releasing his debut single, “Pink Eye”, in 1982. After having worked with GT and then his own Love Bunch sound system he then recorded for King Tubby’s Firehouse label, using a powerful, gospel-ting wail reminiscent of Tenor Saw’s style. The gravity and realism of early songs such as “AIDS” and “Babylon”, when matched to Tubby’s over early digital riddims in 1985, quickly established his name as a popular artist. King Tubby teamed him up with Anthony Red Rose fir their split debut album “Two Big Bull Inna One Pen”, issued on the Firehouse label in 1986. During 1986 and 1987, King Kong recorded for several of Jamaica’s top producers including Prince Jammy, with whom he enjoyed his biggest hits with “Trouble Again” (the title track from his Jammy produced proper debut album), “Mix Up” and “Legal We Legal”.
The death of Tenor Saw in 1988 prompted King Kong to release the single “He Was A Friend” as a tribute, and in 1989 he relocated to England and recorded with Mafia & Fluxy and Gussie P in the early 1990s. After that he was inactive until he began recording more regularly again in the 2000s. It was with Massive B producer Bobby Konders that he created international hype with hit tunes like “Jah Is My Best Friend” and “Rumble Jumble Life” (title track of his 2005 released come back album).
And now, five years after the release of the album “Ethiopian Dream” on the King Shiloh label, King Kong is back again with “In The Old Capital”, the result of the collaboration between King Kong and Judi K. The latter is a French producer, riddimbuilder and sound engineer for many labels and selecters since the late 1990s. He founded his own label Old Capital Records in 2005, releasing some 45s series like “Rasta Pickney” or “Togetherness” riddim, featuring artists like Turbulence, Lutan Fyah and Fantan Mojah. He then released several series on other labels like “Da 1 Yah Song” by Lutan Fyah on Da1yah Records, “Eyes On My Purpose Riddim” on Ghetto Scorp music, and “The House Of The Rising Sun Riddim” on Dubsquad Records.
King Kong’s “In The Old Capital” set consists of five vocal tracks and five dub versions. It would have been nice if this release was compiled in a ‘Showcase’ style, but unfortunately it isn’t. Judi K. has managed to painstakingly recreate the sound of the early digital riddims, and if you’re not aware of the fact that this is a brand new release, you might think it’s a reissue. So it’s obvious that these riddims fit King Kong’s vocal style perfectly well. King Kong immediately pulls out all the stops and delivers a big opening tune that instantly grabs your attention. “Old Time Gorilla” is typical of his conscious style known from his mid-to-late-eighties works, real ear-candy for fans of digiroots. Also “Work” is a tune well worth hearing more than once, while the awesome “King On His Throne” shows that he still can sound like Tenor Saw. Also the next tune, “Cyaan Break Me””, is a great offering and one that goes on repeat. Riddimwise “No Run Around Girl” differs from the previous ones as it harks back to the successful sound created by Gussie Clarke in the late 1980s. A different feel and vibe, but a good tune anyway. “No Run Around Girl” rounds off the vocal part and gives way to the dub versions, which are nice to hear.