George Faith :: To Be A Lover

A heady soul-reggae brew that only Lee “Scratch” Perry could concoct, George Faith’s To Be A Lover is a sweet and sultry dose of vintage R&B á la Upsetter. Released in 1977, it’s an undersung classic from the heyday of the Black Ark studio—eight cuts combining the velvet nonchalance of Faith’s voice with a group of reggae heavyweights working out tunes from the Stax, Motown, and Muscle Shoals songbooks.

Prince Far I :: Cry Tuff Chants 1981-84

Via Adrian Sherwood’s liner notes to Cry Tuff Chants On U we’re reminded that Prince Far I had initially been dubbed King Cry Cry owing to his infamous “voice of thunder.” Had he been a preacher (which he was, in his own way) it’s not difficult to imagine him proselytizing to hordes of non-believers.

Dadawah :: Peace And Love

That this sublime slice of life-affirming music is considered reggae is incidental in the same way that Alice Coltrane’s Journey In Satchdinanda is considered jazz. What it really is, what they both really are is devotional music that transcends genre limitations and taps into something that most musicians could spend a lifetime failing to achieve.

Creation Rebel :: High Above Harlesden 1978-2023

In the late 1970s, a budding dub-loving producer named Adrian Sherwood assembled a crack band of Caribbean musicians living in the working class neighborhoods of North-West London. Before they became Prince Far I’s onstage accompanists, Creation Rebel recorded a series of albums under their own name, cementing their status as the house band of Sherwood’s On-U Sound label.

Sufferer’s Time :: Michael Crow At The Controls

Sun is shining. The latest installment in Michael Crow Taylor’s dank reggae mix series, Sufferer’s Time, winds a path through deep devotionals, primo dub and loping, cosmic love jams. Mixed at Dad’s Bar and Grill, Durham, NC. You can find Taylor onstage with Hiss Golden Messenger, and in the studio with Hiss, Revelators Sound System and many other friends …

Tyrone Evans and Bullwackie :: Rise Up

Like many reggae classics, there’s some digging to do when looking into the history of “Rise Up.” The track originated as a riddim for roots legend Max Romeo on the Barnes-produced I Love My Music in 1982. However, a keen producer’s instinct told Barnes he had a burner on his hands, and he overhauled the mix. Stripping away Romeo’s original vocal entirely, leaving only the relentless rhythm track and mantra-like chorus.

Prince Far I :: Under Heavy Manners

Ital and vital. Produced by Joe Gibbs and engineered by Errol Thompson, Prince Far I, aka the Voice Of Thunder, dropped this slab of essential roots reggae in 1976. His grizzled ropeadope delivery scorching the LP’s ten tracks, Far I’s epic toasting (or chanting, as he preferred) is on full display riding a wave of rumbling bass, subtle dub effects, percussion and organ.

Babylon (1980) :: Streaming In Full

Anchored by an incendiary score by Dennis Bovell, 1980’s Babylon is an essential watch for those interested in the diasporic tendrils of Jamaican roots reggae as witnessed in the UK during the late ’70s and early ’80s. Come for the sound system, stay for the story.

‘Round About Midnight: A Conversation With Adrian Sherwood

We caught up with legendary producer Adrian Sherwood on the heels of his latest effort behind the boards: Horace Andy’s new album, Midnight Scorchers.

“I’m just very, very proud of it. We didn’t rush it. We spent two years making it. We started it before lockdown. And we kept improving it, so I was sending Horace back and forth to Jamaica. Let’s do this better. Let’s do this again.”

Eddie Constantine :: Strawberry

Culled from Black Solidarity Presents String Up the Sound System, a compilation of tracks released by the Jamaican based Black Solidarity reggae label, Eddie Constantine’s “Strawberry” is a booming, dancehall rendition of Miriam Makeba’s “Love Tastes Like Strawberries,” a sneaking cut of spiritual soul from her 1962 lp, The Many Voices of Miriam Makeba.

Ras Michael & The Sons & Daughters Of Negus :: Promised Land Sounds: Rockin’ Live Ruff N Tuff

It doesn’t get any realer (or un-realer) than this. Promised Land Sounds finds Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus levitating somewhere between a Grounation drum ceremony and an acid test. It’s a hypnotic, disorienting, and deeply dubbed out live set that’s every bit the spiritual successor to Ras Michael’s dread opus, Peace and Love—Wadadasow, or the Lee Perry produced Love Thy Neighbour.

Prince Far I and The Arabs :: Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Chapter 1

Released in 1978, Prince Far I’s Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Chapter 1 is a pivotal album at the juncture of Jamaican and British dub—a nexus of dub’s origins and everything the music would evolve into. It’s a dank and earthy affair full of Flabba Holt’s & Sly Dunbar’s driving, deep-nodding basslines that still pack enough power to rattle the foundations of Babylon.

Every Mouth Must Be Fed :: 1973-1976

From the archives of Micron Music, Every Mouth Must Be Fed: 1973-1976. Originally released via Pressure Sounds in the spring of 2008, a CD copy of this twenty track compilation soundtracked the majority of that summer, and, due to a recent cop of the vinyl version, it appears to be doing the same some 14 years later. A toppermost three year overview of the Kingston, Jamaica based label, the roots collection highlights selects from the likes of Joe Higgs, U Roy, I Roy, Tommy McCook, Junior Byles, King Tubby and others, featuring an effortless array of early reggae and dub.