Phil Pratt & Friends – The War Is On: Dub Style

by Apr 9, 2018Artist, Reviews

Phil Pratt & Friends - The War Is On: Dub Style
Phil Pratt

Release Info

Phil Pratt & Friends – The War Is On: Dub Style

Label:  Pressure Sounds | Format: CD-LP-DR | Street date: April 6, 2018 | Website Label | Bandcamp


  1. The War Is On
  2. Danger Zone
  3. Easy Street Special
  4. Dancing Kid
  5. The Good The Bad And The Brave
  6. I’m Back
  7. Feel The Beat
  8. Earth Movement
  9. Owen Gray – Hear We Them A Say (12″ Version) – CD Bonus Track
  10. Ronnie Davis – Strange Things (Extended Mix) – CD Bonus Track
  11. Ronnie Davis – Black Cinderella (Extended Mix) – CD Bonus Track
  12. Bobby Kalphat – My Time (12″ Version) – CD Bonus Track

Pressure Sounds

With the Phil Pratt produced dub set “The War Is On: Dub Style” being #99 in its catalogue, one of the longest running revival reggae labels, the 1995 founded Pressure Sounds, is heading for the 100th release in its more than two decades lasting existence. Looking back at the label’s early beginnings, it were first releases by Santic, Prince Far I and Israel Vibration that laid the foundation for what was to follow.

After having released the compilations “Phil Pratt Thing”, “Safe Travel 1966-1968”, the dub set “Dial For Murder”, Horace Andy’s “Get Wise” and “Zion Hill” by Bobby Kalphat & The Sunshot All Stars, Pressure Sounds once again entered the Phil Pratt vaults and dug up “The War Is On: Dub Style”. The latter is a much sought after dub album that has not been available since its original release in the early 1980s.

Phil Pratt

Producer George Phillips aka Phil Pratt, had an illustrious career in Jamaica stretching back to the rocksteady years of the 1960s, scoring huge hits throughout the 1970s with songs such as John Holt’s “My Heart Is Gone”, Pat Kelly’s “They Talk About Love”, Al Campbell’s “Gee Baby” and Ken Boothe’s “I’m Not For Sale”. By the 1980s he was increasingly finishing his productions at the Easy Street Studios in Bethnal Green, London. There he worked with engineer Stuart Breed, whom he asked to mix “The War Is On: Dub Style”. The latter typifies Phil Pratt’s working methods in those days, with the backing tracks recorded at Joe Gibbs’ Studio in Jamaica, and overdubs and mixing done in London. Musicians who played the riddims include Sly Dunbar (drums & percussion), Robbie Shakespeare & Lloyd Parks (bass), Lloyd ‘Gitsy’ Willis (lead guitar), Winston ‘Bo Peep’ Bowen (rhythm guitar) and Bobby Kalphat (keyboards & melodica).

Original LP

The original LP featured eight tracks including dub versions of Ronnie Davis’ interpretations of Errol Dunkley’s “Black Cinderella” and John Holt’s “Strange Things”. The title track “The War Is On” is a hard hitting drum & bass dominated dub version, which actually also applies to “Danger Zone”, “Easy Street Special” (dub version of “Black Cinderella”) and “Dancing Kid” (dub version of Owen Gray’s “Hear We Them A Say”). All aforementioned dub versions feature Bobby Kalphat’s melodica playing, which adds a nice touch. The next four dub versions are mainly dubbed up in the same way, however now without Bobby Kalphat’s melodica in the mix. Only “Earth Movement” differs from the previous dub cuts, as it has a more full sounding uptempo sound with lovely horns.

Bonus Tracks

CD buyers are well served with four bonus tracks, 3 vocal cuts (also available on 10″ vinyl) and a Bobby Kalphat instrumental. Especially Owen Gray instantly draws attention with the awesome “Hear We Them A Say”, a roots killer that fires on all cylinders. The incredible Ronnie Davis takes the lead vocal on his appealing version of “Strange Things”, a song written by Horace Andy and made famous by John Holt, before he shines once again on “Black Cinderella”, originally cut by Errol Dunkley for Jimmy Radway in 1972. The CD then comes to an end with the gorgeous “My Time” by Bobby Kalphat.

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