Channel One Sound System – Down In The Dub Vaults
Greensleeves Records/VP Records
2 X LP
September 8, 2023
Website Record Label
Wailing Souls – Kingdom Rise Kingdom Fall
Reggae Regular – Ghetto Rock
Michael Prophet – Just Talking
Tetrack – Trappers
Reggae Regular – Black Star Liner
Triston Palma – Joker Smoker
Anthony Johnson – Let Go This One
Hugh Mundell – Can’t Pop No Style
Linval Thompson – One More Chance
Keith Hudson – Bloody Eyes
The Roots Radics – Kingdom Rise Kingdom Dub
Reggae Regular – Ghetto Dubbing
Hi-Times Band – Just Dubbing
Sly & Robbie – Trappers Dub
Reggae Regular – The Dub (It’s Coming)
Dean Fraser & The Roots Radics – Joker Smoker Dub
The Roots Radics – Let Go This Dub
Rockers All Stars – Can’t Pop No Style Dubwise
The Revolutionaries – One More Dub
Keith Hudson – My Eyes Are Red
In 1979, Mikey Dread and his brother Jah T Mikey took over the Admiral Bailey sound system, subsequently rebranding it as Channel One, in homage to the renowned Jamaican studio. Since the 1980s, Mikey and his team have been a fixture at the prestigious Notting Hill Carnival, where their discerning selection of conscious music has earned Channel One a devoted following and a reputation as one of the most beloved soundsystems in the United Kingdom. Their global reach has extended beyond the confines of traditional reggae, as evidenced by their collaborations with notable artists such as Nightmares On Wax and Gilles Peterson.
Channel One is well-acquainted with the timeless classics of Greensleeves. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they have approached Mikey to curate a collection from the extensive repertoire of Greensleeves’ classics for this exclusive compilation. It is worth noting that this marks the first instance of a UK soundsystem participating in such a project since Greensleeves Records released Jah Shaka’s The Positive Message in 2010.
Presented over two LPs, this collection features a number of classic tunes, some of which may not be as widely recognized from the Greensleeves archives. This is to be expected, as the selection is not based on a “greatest hits” approach, but rather a personal choice of sound system tunes that have held a permanent place in Channel One’s record boxes over the years.
Upon listening to Kingdom Rise Kingdom Fall by the Wailing Souls, it becomes apparent how exceptional the collaboration between Wailing Souls, Roots Radics, and Junjo Lawes truly was. The selection of two tunes by Reggae Regular is particularly noteworthy. This UK band was established in 1976 and were noticed by the then-insignificant Greensleeves label, which released two of their songs, Where Is Jah and The Black Star Liner, on the label’s first 12-inch in 1977. The impressive Black Star Liner is featured on this album, as well as Ghetto Rock, a realistic and biting tune from 1984. The late Michael Prophet’s Just Talking is described by Mikey as “Heavyweight Dub,” rendering further commentary unnecessary. Trappers by Tetrack, who recorded this “foot warmer” for Gussie Clarke in 1984, evokes a different mood.
Triston’s 1982 ganja anthem Joker Smoker, produced by Jah Thomas, is widely recognized as one of the most well-known tracks. On the other hand, Anthony Johnson’s Let Go This One, a powerful sound system classic that pushes the limits of speakers, remains relatively unknown. Hugh Mundell, under the guidance of producer Pablo, delivers an exceptional performance with Can’t Pop No Style, hailed by Mikey as an anthem for Channel One Soundsystem over the years. Linval Thompson’s mocking lovers tune One More Chance, released in 1979, showcases the superb backing provided by his favorite band, The Revolutionaries. Surprisingly, Keith Hudson’s Bloody Eyes is included in this selection. This unique lovers ballad from 1978 can also be found on his album Rasta Communication. However, it is worth noting that the version presented here is the overdubbed LP version, rather than the more raucous 12-inch version, which is somewhat unfortunate.
Then we move on to the dub section, featuring a selection which is meant to be experienced through a high-quality sound system, as they are meticulously crafted and designed to captivate your senses. Notable heavyweight highlights include the exceptional Kingdom Rise Kingdom Dub, Joker Smoker Dub, Let Go This Dub, and One More Dub, which showcase the mastery of their creators. Keith Hudson’s dub My Eyes Are Red is a prime example of his ability to create an indescribable atmosphere that must be heard to be fully appreciated. We encourage you to listen and form your own judgment. Hugh Mundell’s dub of Can’t Pop No Style is a more straightforward composition, featuring a raw drum and bass foundation complemented by ethereal keyboard accents and infused vocals from Hugh Mundell. On the other hand, Reggae Regular’s dub Ghetto Dubbing takes a more lighthearted and playful approach, while the powerful Black Star Liner dub resonates with a more militant tone.
In summary, this compilation is truly one of a kind and showcases top-notch musical talent.