The Small Axe People – Beat Street Buck Up

by Mar 18, 2022Mini-Review, Reviews

The Small Axe People - Beat Street Buck Up

Release Info

The Small Axe People
Street date
December 15, 2021
The Small Axe People


1. Soda Pop Rock
2. Sugar and Shake
3. Ice Cream Treat
4. Musical Biscuit
5. Apple Slice
6. Jammy Doughnut
7. Coconut Juice
8. Toffe Apple
9. Hot Dog Rockers
10. Banana Fudge
11. Choc Ice Skank
12. Peppermint Twist

After the release of the 2020 album Walk With God, #23 in The Small Axe People’s catalogue, the prolific eastern London-based one-man band is back with a brand new 12-track collection entitled Beat Street Buck Up. While Walk With God was a tribute to Jamaican producer Roydale Anderson and the sorely missed Vaugh Benjamin of Midnite and Akea Beka fame, Beat Street Buck Up is respectfully livicated to Jamaican guitarist Ranford ‘Ranny Bop’ Williams who passed away last year.

It was Ranny Bop’s scrubbing guitar sound that became the sound of ‘Skank’ and then ‘Roots’. Of course, Ranny Bop wasn’t the only one who played on the ‘scrubbing’ tunes from the 1970s. Rad Bryan also liked to scrub it, though his contribution is the Mento rhythm guitar sound that graced most of the big hits on Beverley’s. The scrubbing guitar opens up reggae music. It’s a space maker, allowing the drummer to add all kinds of fills and rolls. For the bass player, the gaps and pauses created by scrubbing the guitar have resulted in some amazing bass lines. And finally, it encourages the organ player to go into the ‘creep’ organ style, which was much loved in the ’70s. With all this in mind, it’s obvious where the inspiration for this album has come from.

Beat Street Buck Up features twelve, mostly slow-paced instrumentals with the organ and melodica being the lead instruments. Most of the tracks contain samples of (dancehall) shouts/phrases and/or sound/dubby effects, which surely adds livity to this set. It’s more or less a return to what was done on the album Just version, on which legendary Studio One and Treasure Isle veteran deejay Dennis Alcapone was used as intro-man and jive talker. Some of the instrumentals included here will instantly keep you involved, while others need several listenings to appeal to your eardrums a bit more. Beat Street Buck Up is not your average instrumental album, but one that challenges you to listen keenly.

(Note: Limited edition comes as digipack. Only available in the UK)

PRICE | £10.00 inc P&P
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