Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reggae Reggae Source

Just a few more days (if you live in the UK, or have access to a clever VPN) to catch the BBC's recent Reggae Britannia. And you should. A familiar story, perhaps, but still well told in an exemplary manner by Pauline Black and others.

The great thing about these [insert genre here] Britannia documentaries is that they're so engaging that even the stories of the genres with which you may be unfamiliar (or less inclined to admire) are still worth catching. The early Folk Britannia was a case in point.

Don Letts, about whom much has been said already on this blog, cropped up once again in the docu (as did an unrecognisable Jerry Dammers). Not that I'm complaining; Letts is such an insightful, clear-headed and astute correspondent (mercifully immune to the religion- or ganja-induced hyperbole of some commentators) that he's a pleasure to listen to. Back in the day, he compiled a 2-LP compilation for Island, entitled Time Warp Dub Clash. Actually, that's not quite true; the first LP was originally released in the early 1980s, compiled by Paul "Groucho" Smykle and Trevor Wyatt, and entitled Raiders of the Lost Dub. It featured tunes from the likes of Black Uhuru, The Paragons and Steel Pulse. The second, Letts-curated LP was a 90s riposte to the first, and featured the then-current Mad Professor, Dub Syndicate, Jah Shaka and Alpha & Omega. The whole kaboodle was wrapped in a day-glo Intro sleeve and purchased by listeners including yours truly, which is how you're now getting a brief snatch of Black Uhuru below.

Download Black Uhuru Who's In The Tomb (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner) mp3 (deleted Dec 11)


Duncan said...

OMG as the youth of tday sometimes annoyingly put it. This was one of the first Non-Marley reggae records I really got into. Remember hearing it on Peel for the first time and waiting ages with my finger hovering over the record button for him to play it again. Enjoyed Dennis Bovell on the documentary too. I'm sure I saw him play with Edwyn Collins early solo band.

Anonymous said...

Wicked Big Youth and Mr Rocksteady Ken Boothe at Reggae Brittania....caught the dread DJ at his best! photo by Pogus Ceser

Irk The Purists said...

@Duncan, I know Dennis B produced a lot of Edwyn Collins/Orange Juice stuff, I didn't know he played with them too.

@Anon, great pics. And yes, it was good to see Big Youth on the show, though Youth is pushing it, these days. It reminds me of how Philippe Starck will forever be the enfant terrible of design, even as he approaches his 65th birthday.

Duncan said...

Had to check my brain cells were still functioning and google found this -

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