Heartical, a sound and record label based in Paris, France, was founded by Mr Boo, Wap, Mr Tam and Sir Joe. The sound played for the first time on June 21st, 1999. It was the Music Day, and they organized and performed their first party at the Abadidon Club in Paris. From that day onwards they have kept on playing reggae in the traditional sound system form, behaving as messengers and entertainers. Since 2001, the crew has also launched its own Heartical Label. Aimed at releasing old and new roots reggae music, it nowadays represents a catalogue of numerous 7″ singles and many dubs & instrumentals done in collaboration with Basque Dub Foundation. These include fresh originals like Lisa’s Theme, The Assault, and Freedom Rockers as well as remakes of classic riddims such as Far East, Ballistic Affair, Tonight, Dub Fire, Slaving, Know Myself, and Universal Tribulation.
Basque Dub Foundation
Basque Dub Foundation (aka BDF) started three decades ago as a studio project by Iñaki Yarritu, a London based producer/musician originally from the Basque Country (northern Spain). Their debut album Sustraidun Roots Dub (Massive Sounds, 1997) made them acquire an international underground reputation for its blend of original ’70s dub style with ’90s digital influences. Since then BDF has evolved into a multinational band specializing in old skool roots Reggae and dub, with a good reputation as a live band.
Heartical & BDF continue their tradition of paying homage to influential reggae figures with their latest project. After paying tribute to Gregory Isaacs in 2020 with their relick of the iconic Universal Tribulation riddim, they now turn their attention to the late great singer and producer Vivian Jackson, known as Yabby You. Among the numerous notable collaborations between Yabby You and King Tubby, they have selected the revered 1976 release Walls Of Jerusalem to receive a fresh makeover for their new project. This revitalized version is skillfully produced by Sergio Marigomez and Inyaki Yarritu, and features well recognized artists alongside upcoming talents.
The digital album features an impressive lineup of reggae veterans, with renowned artists such as David Hinds, the Grammy-award winning lead singer of Steel Pulse, the conscious reggae toaster Macka B, the Jamaican reggae vocalist Carlton Livingston, the respected roots reggae singer Rod Taylor, and Zareb, previously known as One Pint or Mr Flash. Additionally, the late Patrick Andy, who was very close to Yabby You, also contributed to this project. These artists grace half of the tracks included on the album. David Hinds starts off the album with a strong opener, emphasizing the crucial need for unity and solidarity in the world. Following that, wordsmith Macka B steps in with his trademark style and delivers No Bad Vibes, advocating for a shift towards positivity and rejecting negativity and discord. Following these two noteworthy tunes, comes the moment for Patrick Andy’s exceptional track titled Words Of The Wise, granting the listener with extraordinary reality lyrics. Subsequently, we have the perfect complement in Rod Taylor’s tune called Jerusalem, intertwining inspired spiritual lyrics into its harmonious composition. Carlton Livingston adds another worthwhile piece to the list of reggae songs about the charismatic Black leader Marcus Garvey, while Zareb presents a nice cut called Champion.
The second part of this collection is designated for artists who have less exposure, such as Neto Yuth from Toronto, Dahvid Slur from Jamaica, the brother and sister duo Rootsamala from Malaga, Spain, deejay Pupa Congo, Guidan from Switzerland, and Uman from Belgium. Neto Yuth’s song, Don’t Play With Fire, clearly takes inspiration from the original Yabby You track and can be considered one of the standout performances on this album. Dahvid Slur, an emerging artist, expresses his unwavering faith in the Most High with his song Jah Never Fail I, while Rootsamala delivers a solid track that centers around the universal declaration of Human Rights. Singer Guidan presents a revolutionary tune titled Walls Of Babylon, which in the end fails to leave a lasting impression. Pupa Congo, the frontman of the band Phrenetics, is a talented Spanish artist who skillfully blends the profound words of the late South African advocate against apartheid and human rights activist, Desmond Mpilo Tutu, into his old-skool deejay-style track. The last vocal piece comes from Uman. Singing in French, he depicts the various challenges one might face in life. As a final touch to this compilation, the Walls Of Jerusalem riddim undergoes a dub treatment. This dub version is expertly mixed by London-based James Zugasti, who’s not only known for being Aswad, Lila Iké or Burning Spear’s live engineer, but also is the Grammy award-winning co-producer of Morgan Heritage’s song Strictly Roots.