Review: "Emotional Rescue presents the music of Haile Maskel in the first in a reissue series working with Patrick Billard aka DJ Duckcomb, sourcing and licensing from this digger's vaults and out to the wider world.
Heralding from the furtive 60's Trenchtown, Jamaica, young Michael Ashley aka Haile Maskel grew up singing, learning guitar and bass. His first recording session was produced by friend Bob Marley, with Peter Tosh on keys, Robbie Shakespeare on bass and Carlton Barrett on drums.
The list of sessions is long, working with Lee Perry, Light Of Saba, Dennis Brown and Sugar Minott. Touring took him overseas where he settled in Los Angeles in 1983, soon launching his Opulence (Sound) label.
Maskel's band, the 101's featured members of The Twinkle Brothers, including cousins Asher and Debo Brown on drum and bass, and augmented by local players. Mixing conscious messages in love songs, Maskel crafts a boogie discodub on which to exalt an uplifting summer jam.
With the highly prized original the tapes unearthed unreleased dubs - "Take 1" providing a wonderful version. LA native Duckcomb found a trove of tapes of unheard material, still for discovery. For now, his longform Discomix, cutting and editing Maskel's vocal along with the dubs, completes a first archival splendor.
Review: "The second in the series of DJ Duckcomb affiliated reissues brings the Jamaica / London connection to light, with a reissue of the Brixton based band Red Cloud under the spotlight.
Double Talk was their debut release, coming on House / Freestyle / Reggae label Dancefloor Records, first explored by Emotional Rescue several years ago. After meeting with label head, Jeffrey Collins, in his then London base, the band went on release 2 albums, a 12" and 7" with him, as well as notably being Floyd Lloyd Seivright's backing band.
The original 1983 12"" - now a highly sought after digger's disco reggae bomb - Double Talk is a perfect summer Lovers jam. A tale of sweat talking, cross loving and loss, with redemption and strength, all backed by an uplifting drum and bass, with guitar, keys and piano highlighting the JA climbs instilled in dem sound.
Dubble Dub brings it all down, stripping away and lifting the interplay between keys and piano, allowing guitar to ride above warm bass grooves.
On the flip Duckcomb returns, with his now trademark riding the vocal'n'dub, gently teasing'n'pulling, looping'n'flipping, before letting the echoplex loose to just let the wonderful groove bump'n'grind.
Review: First released on CD way back in 1998 and now getting a deserved reissue on wax, "Sacred Art of Dub Volume 1" sees two of Britain's longest-serving dub outfits - Alpha & Omega and Jah Shaka affiliate Russell Bell-Brown AKA The Disciples - put a new spaced-out spin on each other's weighty, bassbin-bothering riddims. It offers a great snapshot of late '90s UK dub, with highlights including the hot-stepping, Melodica-sporting dancefloor goodness of "Philosophers Stone", the weighty bass and soulful vocals of "Dancing On A Rainbow", the rolling, snare-heavy roll of "Elixir" and the cheery digi-dub business of jaunty bonus cut "Eternal Dub".
Review: With sunshine becoming a regular occurrence again just in time for summer, two of France's more soulful producers have decided to join forces and offer up something suitably warm and relaxing. With the assistance of vocalist Kahina Ouali, Blundetto and Booker Gee have recorded a killer, Hammond-laden version of Lyn Christopher classic "Take Me With You" that sits somewhere between the organs-and-lo-fi-drum machines flex of Timmy Thomas' "We Can't We Live Together" and the soulful reggae grooves of 1980s lovers rock. The fine A-side original mix, which boasts Ouali's full vocal, is our pick of the pair, though the flipside instrumental "Version" mix, in which Booker Gee gets busy on the organ, is also superb.
Review: Pressed in Japan exclusively for Juno from The Park Rangers formally known as Inokasira Rangers. New issue of two killer skanking funky reggae instrumental versions of two crossover classics .Infectious and quite simply.... Essential