Peter Abdul & The Abeng Musical Box - "Inflation" (2:55)
Russ D In Front Room Studio - "Inflation" (Dubwise) (2:57)
Review: Italian label Dig This Way serves up a third sizzling offering, this time featuring Nigerian singer Peter Abdul. He does his heart aching work over a solid rhythm from Abeng's Musical Box and the results are steeped in romance and yearning. A flip side dub from Russ Disciple is also well worth checking for its smart effects and fathom deep bass. Abdul is a relative unknown but for his 1984 album Get Down With Me, which head in a more boogie and funk direction. Regardless, this is a tasty dub, make no mistake.
AJ Franklin & The Inn House Crew - "Where You Gonna Run To" (feat UK Principal & Vin Gordon) (4:15)
AJ Franklin & The Inn House Crew - "Where You Gonna Run To" (feat UK Principal & Vin Gordon - version) (4:17)
Review: The Inn House Crew are well known instrumental reggae producers who have made Room In The Sky their regular home. Their second release this month is a tasty hook up with AJ Franklin, UK Principal and Vin Gordon. "Where You Gonna Run To" is a popping dub fleshed out with cavernous drums and bass that sit together perfectly. Synth details and hits spit out and horns drift to sooth your soul. The effervescing vocals version on the flip injects a dose of warmth to an already steamy cut. Another standout effort from this ever reliable crew.
Review: Hornin' Sounds has been on fire of late and their latest offering is another essential one. Both tunes explore deep dark funk roots from the mid 70s, and have both been produced by U.K. wizard Clem Bushay with The Cimarons on fire as the backing band. Carl Bert provides the vocals, which are buttery smooth and heartfelt as he muses on slipping into darkness over acoustic guitar riffs and rolling ridders. A fine dubs mix by Jeh Jeh is liquid and bottomless. As usual the French label have promised (threatened?) that there will be no reissues of this one, so move fast, dub lovers.
Review: Only Roots come through with a classic wedge from Barry Biggs. These pure vibes first came in 1976 and on this package you're also treated to the Clarence Wears guitar piece from the same year, plus a couple of spicy dubs. "Work All Day" is a golden offering with an aloof and soulful vocal that drifts up top like a wispy cloud on a summer's day. Muted chords enrich things and the natty riffs keep things subtly funky. That original Wears guitar piece is a real heart wrencher - the guitar rings out into the sky with oodles of reverb giving it even more poignancy.
Review: Al Campbell and Trinity's "Respect" is now available on 12" for the first time thanks Greensleeves. Campbell provides the vocal work, which is aloof and detached on "respect", with dreamy trumpets somewhere off in the distance as the rhythm section rolls on with real warmth. Trinity's production is fully on point throughout. The flip is more direct, with heavier beats and more reverb underlining the crisp Al Campbell, and it also features an exclusive dub mix of the same tune that is scorching hot and carries serious weight.
Review: This pearler from Cornell Campbell has never before been released. It features heavy production from Charles Reid AKA the UK Duke Reid in Jamaica but somehow never made it to the pressing factory and now gets a proper treatment from Horus Records who have restored it direct from the original master tapes. 'Never Gonna Give Up' is a super sweet and soulful tune with soaring vocals from Campbell. They're pained and impassioned and heartfelt, and the flip side 'Gonna Dub Up' is clean and crisp, with upbeat kicks and noodling keys.
The Groove Master - "I Love The Way You Love" (3:52)
Review: For their latest missive, Rock A Shaka have decided to offer up a new pressing of The Chosen Few's early '70s classic "I Love The Way You Love", a slab of languid, soulful sunshine recorded at a time when reggae as we know it today (rather than rocksteady or ska) was still a nascent musical form. While the original vocal version has featured on a number of the Jamaican band's albums over the years, the accompanying flipside "Version" by producer Prince Tony Robinson AKA The Groove Master has previously been frustratingly hard to find. It's worth picking this up just to get it, as Robinson's additional musical flourishes - think Tommy McCook style sax, fluttering flute solos and harder rhythm guitar - lift the band's fine riddim to even higher heights.
Melbourne Douglas - "Rudy Skankin On The Moon" (3:14)
The Regulators - "Caymanas Park Rocket" (2:30)
Melbourne Douglas - "Rude Boy Don't Fight" (2:50)
King Deadly - "Joshua A Mek Riddim Run" (2:46)
Review: Having already delivered a multi-artist EP of Reggae Dynamite earlier in the year, nostalgia-fired producer Neil Anderson serves up a speedy sequel on his popular Original Gravity label. Toaster Melbourne Douglas kicks things off with the ska-flavoured cheeriness of 'Rudy Skanking on the Moon', before returning later in the EP with slowed-down, rocksteady style reggae fuzziness of 'Rude Boy Don't Fight'. Elsewhere, label regulars (sorry) the Regulators deliver a high-tempo, Hammond-heavy instrumental workout (the excellent 'Caymanas Park Rocket'), while King Deadly layers languid organ solos over a more dub-wise groove on EP standout 'Joshua a Mek Riddim Run'.
Earl Sixteen & The Inn House Crew - "Born To Be Free" (3:46)
The Inn House Crew - "The Uproar Riddim" (3:50)
Review: Room in the Key hits cat number 150 with Earl Sixteen & The Inn House Crew coming together on this big new rhythm. Earl "Sixteen" Daley has been doing his do since way back when, and has worked with masters like Lee Scratch Perry. Here he serves up a tale of lockdown and cries to be free, with digital effects and clean, pristine synths lifting spirits next to an upbeat groove. Of course, a dub is include don the flip with extra guitar riffs and natty chords all helping to colour the airwaves.
Review: The latest 45 on the revitalised Soul Beat label, which was first active in the 1970s, offers up some serious buried treasure from producer, musician and vocalist B.B Seaton. Both tracks originally featured on an ultra-rare, white label 45 that slipped out in Jamaica way back in 1969. The A-side, 'Funny Feeling', features Seaton's celebrated trio, the Gaylads, offering fantastic group harmonies and exquisite delivery of Seaton's loved-up lyrics over a chunky rocksteady riddim. Over on the flip you'll find a fine instrumental from the Conscious Minds ('Something New'), which Seaton later reworked to become the basis of Ernest Wilson's 'I Know Myself'.
Goody Gap & The Inn House Crew - "Madness Badness" (feat Vin Gordon) (4:16)
Goody Gap & The Inn House Crew - "Madness Badness" (feat Vin Gordon - version) (4:19)
Review: The Inn House Crew has been serving up the platters that matter on Room In The Sky long enough to have a firm following by now. Once again they bring rather melancholic vibes to this new one. "Madness Badness" feat. Vin Gordon is a flabby dub with pillow bass and rounded drums, but the trumpets that ring out are beautifully muted and sombre. Flip over for an alternative version that's more amped up and direct for those who are after something more energetic. Whichever side you go for, this is one you will want to add to your collection.