Dillinger verses Trinity – Clash

by Feb 23, 2024Artist, Reviews

Dillinger vs Trinity - Clash

Release Info

Label
Burning Sounds
Format
LP
Street date
February 23, 2024
Contact
Website Record Label

Tracklist
Side A:
1. Rizla Skank
2. Spike Heel Shoes
3. Natty Dread Ah Carry The Swing
4. Natty Dread On The Ball
5. Jamaican Dollars
6. Shelly With The Electric Belly

Side B
1. Step It Brother Clem
2. Stumbling Block
3. Cricket Loving Cricket
4. Natty Passing Through A Curfew
5. Natty Dread Is Not The Prodigal Son
6. Starsky And Hutch

Originally released in the UK by Burning Sounds in 1977, and then reissued in CD format in 2015, Dillinger & Trinity’s Clash finally gets its vinyl reissue.

Dillinger

Taking inspiration from trailblazing deejays like U Roy, I Roy, and Big Youth, Dillinger embarked on his musical journey in the early 1970s alongside Dennis Alcapone, performing on the El Paso sound system. His first foray into the world of recording came with the track Bring the Kutchie Come, produced by the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry. From then on, Dillinger collaborated with a multitude of esteemed Jamaican producers, including Phil Pratt, Coxsone Dodd, Channel One’s Hookim brothers, Joe Gibbs, Augustus Pablo, Bunny Lee, Yabby You, Niney the Observer, and many more. Despite being captivated by the growing popularity of Rasta culture sweeping through the youth of Jamaica at that time, Dillinger never confined himself to a single style, building a reputation for effortlessly weaving through a range of subjects in a variety of musical styles, whether serious, humorous, spoken word, or singing. However, it was his internationally acclaimed record Cocaine In My Brain, recorded at Channel One in 1976, that truly propelled him into the spotlight. In addition, Dillinger has ventured into production and has released several records. These include 5 Man Army, where he collaborates with Trinity, Al Campbell, Wayne Wade, and Junior Tamlin, 3 The Hard Way featuring himself, Al Campbell & Trinity, Yo Yo, performed by Johnny Osbourne, and Jah Jah Can’t Help You, sung by George Nooks.

Trinity

Trinity, real name Wade Brammer, eventually entered the deejay industry after following in the footsteps of Big Youth. He made his debut recording, Got To Believe In It, which was produced by Enos McLeod. Shortly afterward, Trinity recorded a track for Winston Edwards titled Mop Head Screw Face, in collaboration with Dillinger, under the alias Prince Glen. These singles from 1974 were later released under the name Trinity. In 1975, Trinity and Dillinger teamed up once again for Bump Skank, using a version of the Won’t You Come Home/In A Dis Ya Time riddim. Following these releases, they ventured into Channel One Studio, owned by the Hookim brothers and named after their sound system. However, producer Jo Jo Hookim was not fond of the name Prince Glen and decided to rename him Trinity. In the early months of 1976, Trinity recorded a series of impressive tunes. During this time, producer Joe Gibbs posed as Channel One’s main rival. Trinity’s big break came when he collaborated with this producer, establishing his reputation in the industry. During this time, he also worked with producer Yabby You on the album Shanty Town Determination. In the same year, he recorded the immensely popular song Three Piece Suit for Joe Gibbs, which was followed by more hit tracks like John Saw Them Coming and Starsky And Hutch. Trinity then released his own album titled Three Piece Suit. Over the next few years, Trinity worked with numerous producers and recorded hundreds of songs. He even started his own label called Flag Man, where he not only recorded his own music but also mentored upcoming artists like Dave Robinson and Michael Black. In the 1980s, Trinity embarked on a separate career as a singer under the name Junior Brammer, releasing several successful singles and albums.

Combined Forces

From the early beginnings, Dillinger and Trinity have joined forces on several recordings. Thus it’s no surprise to have them both featured on the same LP. Although titled Clash, the Clement Bushay-produced album doesn’t fall into the same category as deejay clash albums like Nicodemus Vs. Toyan, Jazzbo Vs. I Roy and Little Harry Vs. Billy Boyo on which the deejays compete against each other track by track. Here, the listener is treated to collaboration songs from the two deejays which creates a quite different vibe. Recorded at Channel One in Kingston and at London’s Chalk Farm with Jamaican and UK musicians, the final mix was done at Berry Street in London. Compared with the deejay albums recorded and mixed in Jamaica, the atmosphere and style of this collection is a bit softer. It makes that most tracks lack a raw edge. Probably the best known and definitely most outstanding track included here is Stumbling Block which across a relick of the riddim from The Techniques’ Love Is Not A Gamble. The song was played in the Rockers Movie during the hilarious scene in Randy’s record shop. Although Starsky And Hutch is also very familiar song among reggae enthusiasts, this is a different, much lesser appealing version than the one Trinity recorded for Joe Gibbs. Side A opens with the entertaining Rizla Skank a deejay version of Owen Gray’s superb roots hit Rizla, produced by Clement Bushay in 1976. Another hit for the producer was Lousie Mark’s Tell It Like it Is. It’s riddim, actually first used by Lee Perry for Jah lion’s Black Lion, is revisited for the track Shelly With The Electric Belly. Another ear-catching song is Spike Heel Shoes with sung lines from Harold Melvin & Blue Notes’ Don’t Leave Me This Way. The song Cricket Loving Cricket is a leisurely homage to Dobby Dobson’s Treasure Isle classic I’m A Loving Pauper, whereas Step It Brother Clem pays homage to producer Clement Bushay.

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