Earl Zero - "None Shall Escape The Judgement" (6:10)
Soul Syndicate - "None Shall Escape The Judgement" (version) (2:54)
Earl Zero & Soul Syndicate - "None Shall Escape The Judgement" (extended) (6:51)
Review: Earl Zero is a foundational figure in the roots reggae scene of '70s Jamaica. Working with producer Bunny Lee on this self-penned piece, it was originally given to the more established singer Johnny Clarke in 1975 and went on to become a hit. It wasn't until 1980 that Earl's own version came out on Epiphany Records and saw similar success. "None Shall Escape The Judgement" is a crucial cut that rides on a higgledy-piggledy rhythm section as bass twangs and rim shots peel off the groove. Earl's buttery, blissed out and heartfelt delivery soars up top next to celebratory trumpets to seal the deal in style.
Rapha Pico & The Signal One Band - "Lead The Way" (4:58)
The Signal One Band - "Lead The Dub" (4:55)
Review: The Signal One Band formed in 2017 after a bunch of local regular session musicians linked up after meeting at Earth Works Studio in Amsterdam. Between them the gang has worked with big names from the worlds of ska, reggae and dubstep, and all this goes into a crucial melting pot that brews up the old and new, finished off with a warm vintage aesthetic. Their new label is minted with a rumbling, roots tune that has lush trumpets and billowing chords cushioning your daily grind. The dub on the flip is even fatter and perfectly easy to get lost in.
Prince Alla & Phillip Fraser - "Black Rose" (3:22)
Prince Alla - "Black Rose" (Alt mix) (3:16)
Soul Syndicate - "Black Rose" (version) (3:14)
Review: Archive Recordings have fully licensed a reissue of this classic of Freedom Sounds roots from 1977, and press it up on a tasty bit of blue wax. "Black Rose" is a real heater, with swaggering drums and bass, noodling chords buried deep in the mix and lead organ lines that carry you away on a breeze. Making use of the heavyweight Stone rhythm and produced by the late Bertram Brown, this 12" also features a previously unreleased solo Prince Alla vocal and Soul Syndicate's take on the original rhythm track.
Review: Jah reins supreme over the four spiritual dubs that make up this roots package from Joy & Happiness. Sattalite's "Jah Praises" is a call to arms, albeit a gentle one, with impassioned vocals drawing your attention. Ant Henderson's "Sing To Jah Dub" is as echo drenched as dub comes and will leave you feeling lost at sea. Brother Dan gives himself over completely to Jah on "Jah Is My Strength" while things are pared back to a icier dub on closer "Strength Of Jah Dub". All hail the king.