Yesterday was unseasonably warm, which prompted me to break out some reggae, which I will now share with you lucky motherfuckers. From my yard to yours and all that…
What you get is a compilation of singles released by Basic Replay, a British/German boutique label specializing in reggae reissues. It draws on various reggae hotbeds for content, from Jamaica to London to Brooklyn. Despite the eclectic origins, the collection presents a unified sound which skewers towards dancehall and heavy digital dub. The artists featured range from well known favorites like Gregory Isaacs and Jackie Mittoo to more obscure wunderkinds like Professor Grizzly and Ackie, who’s incredible “Call Me Rambo” was a subject of a Wax Poetics feature.
“Call me Rambo” is actually the very first track on here, and it is simply jaw dropping. Purists who posit that incorporation of digital production dulled the creativity of the genre would do well to check this out. The template is simple – a few refrains of badass vocals set against a backdrop of thumping percussion, gunshots and helicopter sound effects. With these deceptively minimal ingredients, Ackie and uncle/producer Chester Roots create an anthem so hard that it would make your average Burlington trustafarian barrista/Bob Marley tshirt aficionado trade in her AirMoses and Dave Eggers tomes for a pair of combat boots and a used copy of Shottas. After which she would surely go pull a jux on the whole 4th floor of her University of Vermont dorm. If there was ever a song meant to soundtrack the more triumphant moments in life, this is it.
If that doesn’t convince you, check out a few more samples. See what happens when Jackie Mittoo mixes up his trademark stylings with walls of fuzzy reverb and ethereal vocals. Hear Gregory Isaac’s soft spoken lovers rock re-imagined for ass shaking purposes (works better than one would suspect). Witness Prince Jazzbo take on dubstep conventions years before that word even existed. And that’s just scratching the surface of things.
DOWNLOAD (cover and full track list below)
01 Ackie: Call Me Rambo
02 Chuck Turner: Trying To Conquer I
03 Professor Grizzly: Fight The Professor
04 Ijahman Levi: I Am A Levi
05 Part 2
06 King Culture: Nice Up The Session Version
07 Courtney Melody: Black Liberation
09 Tenastelin: Burial Tonight
11 Keith Hudson: Hunting
12 Jackie Mittoo: Ayatollah
13 Gregory Isaacs: Dealing
14 Andrew Bees: Militant
15 White Mice: Nothing Never Done Before The Time
16 Prince Jazzbo: Replay Version