the teacher – soul vibration
augustus pablo – east of the river nile
sounds unlimited – road runner
derick harrriot – message from a black man
king sporty – dj special
prince francis – street doctor
i roy – sidewalk killer
lennie hibbert – more creation
trinity – school days (dub)
buju banton – god of my salvation
dillinger – natty kung fu
dub specialists – lecturer
ed nangle – good girl
tanya stephens – handle the ride
shinehead – hello y’all
buju banton – jungle to back a wall
kabaka pyramid – nice up the dance
supercat – too greedy (lp version)
liam bailey – champion
lee van cleef – gone water gone (dub + vocal)
jah thomas – black star liner
winston & robin – wailing time
winston jarrett – wreck up a pagan heart
sango – preto e dourado
cocoa tea – no threat
johnny osbourne – rock with you
shabba ranks – respect
revolutionaries – counter attack
protoje feat koffee – switch it up
errol walker – in these times
tappa zukie – praise jah in gladness
prince far i & the arabs – borno dub
hemsley morris – stay loose
hemsley morris – you think i’m a fool
ernest ranglin – heart beat
hugh brown – the big licking stick
cornell campbell & the eternals – undying love
toots & the maytals – time tough
sanchez & flourgon – love mi girl bad
supercat – push time
govana feat aidonia – yeah man
protoje – dread (dub + vocal)
i roy – i man time
the mighty diamonds – right time
mikey dread. -friend & money
bella blair – gimme a light



Soul Vibration / East of the River Nile – Kicking off this mix with a quick 2-shot on Augustus Pablo’s “East of the River Nile” riddim, starting with a DJ excursion before hearing some of the foundation tune. The name Augustus Pablo was originally a generic pseudonym that Herman Chin Loy used for any keyboard instrumental he released, including tunes by Lloyd Charmers and Glen Adams. But Horace Swaby soon claimed the moniker as his own, permanently. “East of the River Nile” is now considered a Pablo classic, but this “Soul Vibration” rendition was new to me. I discovered it last month on the excellent Aquarius Rock compilation, which gathers a ton of Chin-Loy productions. I’m pretty sure that’s Chin Loy himself as “The Teacher“, doing the toasting on the first track. Yes, Jamaican-born Chinese get down! I think these came out around 1970, give or take.

Road Runner – A modified cover of Donny Hathaway’s “The Ghetto” by Sounds Unlimited, who I suspect were Herman Chin Loy’s studio house band The Aquarians, under a different name. Released in 1973 on his Scorpio label.

Message From A Black Man – An excellent soulful cover of  The Temptations by Derrick Harriot, released in 1970. Both The Heptones and Lloyd Charmers released their own versions that same year, but I think this one stands out.

DJ Special – DJ and Producer King Sporty came up under the wing of Coxsone Dodd himself. He is best known for co-writing “Buffalo Soldier” for Bob Marley, the early version of which is a weird, Euro-disco song that was much improved by the official release.  He relocated to Miami in the early 70s and ended up married to R&B legend Betty Wright.

Street Doctor – A juggle of a few tunes on the Side Walk Doctor riddim, beginning with the 1970 foundation track by Prince Francis, who had a brief but bright recording career in the early 70s. I-Roy comes troo two years later with his own take called “Sidewalk Killer“. And finally we have “More Creation”, a beautiful vibes instrumental by Lennie Hibbert from 1971.

School Days (Dub) – A few tracks on the ever-epic Freedom Blues riddim, starting with a nice Trinity dub and then quickly moving into Buju Banton’s dancehall smash “God of My Salvation” – one of my all time favorite Buju songs. I follow this up with a throwback Dillinger cut about this new 70s sensation called “Natty Kung Fu”! Some people know this as the M.P.L.A. riddim, after the Tappa Zukie song, but I believe it started with Roy Richards song “Freedom Blues” on Studio One in 1970.

Lecturer – Five tunes on the Lecturer riddim, named for the Owen Gray track from 1967, which has a very Prince Buster-like lecture going down. I skipped that to drop Ed Nangle’s “Good Girl” from 1968, which has a great reverby sound to both the guitar and vocals. Hip Hop heads may remember Born Jamericans sampling this in 1994. Next up is Tanya Stephens party mover “Handle The Ride”, produced by Bobby Digital in 1997. I most associate this riddim with the next tune, Shinehead’s rap crossover attempt, “Hello Y’all”. I love his corny, old school rhyme flow, that was already a bit stale when this came out in 1986, but I was such a rabid Shinehead fan at the time, I didn’t even care. Finally one more Buju track, “Jungle to Back A Wall”  from 1997 that speaks to the frustration of the down trodden. Seems more than timely in 2020.

Nice Up The Dance – Bringing us quickly up to 2020, Kabaka Pyramid dropped this dope-ass cover of Michigan And Smiley earlier this year and man, does this shit SLAP! Mr Pyramid, as he is formally referred, is one of the few modern dancehall artists that I can still really vibe with. He has serious mic skills and tends to not ruin every song with the scourge of auto-tune that has basically ruined Dancehall for me. He’s been absolutely killing it in the last few years. I followed this up with a quick slice of Supercat’s heartfelt ode to crackheads, “Too Greedy”, which he re-recorded for his “The Struggle Continues” LP in 1995. This, you may notice, also slaps.

Champion – Another modern reggae artists that never disappoints is the UK’s Liam Bailey. He always creates an amazing combo of classic reggae sounds with more of a modern feel, adding in EDM synths and 808 drums. He has yet to really break through in the US in any major way, but in England he’s been making nuff noise ever since getting signed to Amy Winehouse’s Lioness Records in 2010. If you like singers like Dennis Brown, you’ll love his whole catalogue.

Gone Water Gone (Dub + Vocal) – This right here is precisely the kind of Dancehall sound that first got my attention when The Clash started working with Mikey Dread and adding these kinds of dubby delays and reverbs to their music. Lee van Cleef released this as a split 12” on Greensleeves with Eek-A-mouse’s “Christmas A Come”. I copped this on the excellent, 4-part, Greensleeves “12” Rulers” compilation series, that includes vocal and dubs for all of their biggest releases, and dedicates an entire volume to Henry “Junjo” Lawes, “Gussie” Clarke*, Jah Thomas and Linval Thompson, respectively.

Black Star Liner – A quick flash of Jah Thomas on the Moving Away riddim, which gets its name from the Ken Boothe Studio One classic.  Jah Thomas aka Nkrumah Manley Thomas got his start in the mid 70s recording for Alvin Ranglin. His first hit was “Midnight Rock”in 76, and this became the name of his own very successful music label, that featured up and comers like Barrington Levy, Early B and Toyan. He had another big hit with Roots Radics in 1983 with “Shoulder Move

Wailing Time – This is the short-lived Rocksteady duo of Nehemiah Reid and Winston Holness aka Niney The Observer, recording for Coxsone Dodd under the stage names Winston & Robin. Niney, who is perhaps better known as a big time producer for Channel One, got his name when he severed his thumb as a child (!).

Wreck Up A Pagan HeartWinston Jarrett picks up the pace a bit now, with a warning to the youth to stay out of trouble or risk a heart transplant? LOL. I really don’t know if I’m missing a metaphor here. Could simply be an attempt to scare bad boys with the idea that a trip to the hospital could result in getting a heart transplant of a Pagan aka a non-believer. Who the hell knows. Dig the groove doe.

Preto e Dourado – LA by way of Seattle producer Sángo released this wicked dub in 2020. He’s down with the Soulection Collective in LA, that boasts a label and a radio station in their arsenal. He usually mixes Baile Funk into his deep dubsteppy, trappy beats – calling his music “Spiritual Bass” – but this new track is straight up dubwise madness to me.

No Threat – This tune begins four tracks on one of my all time faves, the Hot Milk riddim – familiar to many as the backing track for Barrington Levy’s “Murderer”. Cocoa Tea and Johnny Osbourne were among several DJs in the mid-90s who joined the Hot Milk revival sparked by Shabba’s “Respect” the previous year. The Revolutionaries’ “Counter Attack” is from near 20 years earlier, with Sly & Robbie laying down the rhythm as leaders of the Channel One house band.

Switch It Up – Back to present day with Protoje and Koffee, who I feel like I almost know personally, thanks to Max Glazer’s excellent interviews with them on his own podcasts. Protoje got his start around 2005, dropping mixtapes and swinging guest appearances by Busy Signal. His cousin Don Corleon put him on his label in 2010 and things took off from there. He’s now signed to RCA and we expect even bigger tings a come.

In These Times – A touch of Roots with Errol Walker’s beautiful lyrical flip of George Gershwin’s “Summertime” from the 1935 opera Porgy And Bess, with the Upsetters backing. Errol Walker was a solo Artist as well as a member of The In Crowd Band, who had some marginal hits in the 70s, like “We Play Reggae”, which, to my ear at least, has a subtle Earth Wind & Fire thing going on with the vocals. Their drummer Clevie Browne later became one half of Dancehall production giants Steelie & Clevie.
Praise Jah In Gladness – David Sinclair aka Tappa Zukie takes a turn with some Rasta realness on a slow, 1978 re-work of the Darker Shade of Black Rhythm. Tappa is from Kingston and got his start early, working with both I-Oses Discotech and Maccabees Sound while still just a teenager. He also ran with a gang called the Zukies, and his mother eventually sent to live in London, to keep him off the streets. Bunny Lee got him some gigs in London and he was soon recording with Larry Lawrence, releasing his debut single “Jump & Twist” in 1973.  His career was given a big boost when Patti Smith invited him to open for her UK show, and subsequently brought him on tour with her.

Borno Dub – more dub niceness from Prince Far I & The Arabs. A 1979 tune that has a weird, synthy trumpet sound not unlike something you’d hear before the Movie of the Week in the 70s.

Stay Loose – I somehow lived this long without ever hearing Hemsley Morris. What a find. He just has such a unique vocal tone and affectation. Two songs, back to back here, with “You Think I’m A Fool” (1968) as the runner up. Shock out!

The Big Licking Stick – U-Roy disciple U-Brown chats over Cornell Campbell & The Eternals’ “Undying Love” (which I mix in on the back end). U-Brown got his start chatting with Silver Bullet Sound before taking over U-Roy’s spot with King Tubby’s Hi-Fi in 1975. The student had become the master!

Time Tough – The world lost a real great one with the passing of Toots Hibbert in 2020. He really was the Otis Redding of reggae to me. Always soulful and riveting, and he produced an endless well of great music. This is from his 1974 “In The Dark” LP, the follow up to the game-changing “Funky Kingston”. It features “54-46″ as the standout hit among a record packed with great tunes.

Love Mi Girl Bad – This Sanchez & Flourgon track was a big tune in Brooklyn in 1989. The wiki page for Flourgon opens with the sentence “Michael May got his nickname of ‘Flourgon’ due to his love of dumplings” LMAO. Flourgon was in heavy rotation in the last 80s and early 90s, often collating with Red Dragon, Daddy Lizard and Sanchez. He made headlines in 2020 when Miley Cyrus settled his $300 Million lawsuit for biting the lyrical hook of his 1988 tune “We Run Tings” for her god-awful 2013 song “We Can’t Stop”. I’m sure he didn’t get anywhere close to $300M, but hopefully it was enough.

Push Time – My all time favorite Dancehall DJ , Supercat, returned in 2020 with this absolute banger, produced by legendary hit-maker Salaam Remi, who really turned his bass compressor up to 11 on this shit, thank Jah. I have yet to hear anyone else voice on this modern revamp of the Answer riddim, but a boy can dream.

Yeah Man – More 2020 newness with this crazy ass beat that almost sounds like something Timbaland would give Missy. Govana grew up in Spanish Town, and first entered the reggae world under the name Deablo, guesting on a track with Aidonia, “Run Road”. After getting shot in the back, he changed directions and changed his name, and now comes a little less gangster with his flow – that said, his flow is still no joke.

Dread (Dub + Vocal) – One more Protoje track because I am just feeling him that much right now. This came out way back in 2010, when he first hooked up with Don Corleon.

I Man Time / Right TimeI-Roy and The Mighty Diamonds made this Roots scorcher for the MD debut album in 1976 and it was an instant Roots classic. Dis here a prophecy! The band is perhaps best known for being the originators of “Pass the Koutchie”, their 1982 ode to herb that got cleaned up and re-made into an international hit by Musical Youth

Friend & Money – A tough of 1978 chat over top the Dennis Brown track “Money In My Pocket”, when Mikey Dread was still recording under the name Michael Campbell.

Gimme A Light – Like so many pop stars these days, Bella Blair got her start vlogging and performing on YouTube, as both an actor and singer. This weed-centric track is mad moody and simply seemed like the perfect way to end the mix, seen?

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