Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Roots For All Seasons

This month ForwardEver received a tremendous amount of new music from some of Jamaica's greatest artists: Tunes poured in like rain from Sugar Minott (R.I.P.), Max Romeo, Cornell Campbell, U-Roy and Sylford Walker.

We'll highlight a few of those releases here in a minute, but first we recommend that if you are in the LA area on a Wednesday, check out the Dub Club at the Echoplex (1154 Glendale Blvd, Echo Park). 

For for the past decade Tom Chasteen, Boss Harmony, Roy Corduroy and the crew have been hosting the best West Coast roots, rub-a-dub and classic reggae showcase. Legends like Triston Palma, U-Roy, Rankin Joe, Welton Irie, Trinity and more have graced their stage. Last year Chasteen and crew released Return of the Rub-A-Dub, a documentary chronicling some of the rare Dub Club performances.

They're organizing a massive Dubquake Festival October 16-17 (Michael Rose, Scientist, Sister Nancy, Heptones etc) , which should bring even more acclaim to their activities.

Speaking of the DJ Godfather Daddy U-Roy, a digital release on October 26 pairs the legendary toaster with veteran vocalist Cornell Campbell on the single "Babylon You Wrong" for Zion High productions. The new roots style one-drop single rides an original riddim  featuring live guitar, drum and horn parts. Distributed by Zojak and available in the US at Deadly Dragon NYC. View the press page on the 45 Shootout blog for more details.

If you've been wondering what's up with premier UK dub poet and author Linton Kwesi Johnson, this extensive interview in Voice-Online should catch you up on his whereabouts.

UK dubstep/bass label Senseless has managed one of the bigger link-ups of 2010, a new recording with Max Romeo on the single "Protest of the M1."

Romeo's voice has been the centerpiece of several dubstep tracks sampling his famous "Chase The Devil" tune recently.

Senseless up the ante by releasing this exclusive original vocal by Romeo with remixes from Venezuela's Pacheko, Cardiff's Stagga and London's Rossi B & Luca. Roots fans may be disappointed by the lack of traditional reggae vibes, but if you like your rough bass, then nab the EP on November 11.

Here's an audio preview of the Rossi B & Luca remix.

Congratulations to New York's Wax Poetics magazine on issue 43, the Reggae Edition, featuring melodica master Augustus Pablo on the cover and deep interviews with Beres Hammond, Gregory Isaacs and a nice Bob Andy article. Well worth the cover price for this archive.

Another group of New Yorkers who have been doing their part to spread original dubwise vibes: Liondub45s, formed by Liondub and Ticklah, a label which, according to Mr. Lion himself, "specializes in deep vintage dub and scorching roots reggae."

In September they issued one of the last recordings made by Lincoln "Sugar" Minott. The tune "His Name" (LNDB45-002) is vintage sufferers style reggae featuring Sugar in meditative praise mode. Absolutely stunning work. Minott was truly a gem to the end.

The single also features a fantastic Tiklah dub version. Victor "Tiklah" Axelrod has made a name through his organ and keyboard work with the Dap Kings band and Easy Star All-Stars.

Look for more Liondub releases soon from Johnny OsbourneLuciano, Judah Eskender Tafari, Courtney John and other reggae legends.

Here's a preview of Sugar Minott "His Name"

Always busy Texas-based dub/steppers producer McPullish has linked with '70s roots vocalist Sylford Walker ("Burn Babylon," "Lambsbread," "Jah Golden Pen," "Eternal Day") for a new tune, "United" (CHA708) availableon his Charlie's Roots label in November.

Walker (pictured left) is an artist who has been beset by hard times and homelessness throughout his career. Read his fascinating story in this interview from a few years ago, and also in this feature from March 2010.

Listen to the stream for "United" on the McPullish Soundcloud page.

  Sylford Walker - United by McPullish