Tuesday, February 28, 2012

...Roots Music can never die: „Jamaican Harmony Trios - The Jewells“

01 - jewells - jah i (extended mix)
02 - porti - one lick
03 - jewells - i believe in love
04 - jewells - my little dream love
05 - jewells - dream love
06 - jewells - singing sweet harmony
07 - version - drum & bass (flabba & style)
08 - jewells - slave trade
09 - jewells - love and livity
10 - jewells - love & livety version
11 - big youth - political confusion - jewells - love & livity dub (extended)
12 - jewells - black is the highest culture
13 - the survivors - live out the 70s
14 - the survivors - leggo badness
15 - gladstone manning - prophesy call
16 - gladstone manning - prophesy call dub
17 - the palm threes - step it out version
18 - the palm threes - step it out
19 - the immortals - can't keep a good man down
## - bonus track - the immortals - can't keep a version

Jamaican Harmony Trios - The Jewells

Some 8-9 years ago I listened to the radio show Hidden Gems - The Jewells by the Australian Reggae website firecorner.com - introducing the Jamaican harmony trio „The Jewells“. I had to that point never heard of that band, but as a huge lover of deep 70ies roots music I was immediately struck by the beauty of their songs, the heavy roots riddims which set the background to their weaving harmonies (which were very much influenced by the Rocksteady style), the baritone of their lead singer Glasford Manning, their spiritual as well as provocative lyrics – as well as some of their more mellow, lovers rock influenced songs ridding drum and bass riddims in an early 80ies rub-a-dub style fashion! Beside the podcast about „The Jewells“, which is still available for download on the Firecorner website (plus many other great podcasts – well worth checking out!) - and the article „The Jewels In The Crown“, which Penny Reel wrote in 1985 for the NME, there was no other information on the Jewells available on the Internet or elsewhere at that time. I was lucky to find two 7inches by the Jewells, as well as a few songs which I found on Niney The Observer compilations. Beside that I digitally tracked down all the Jewells songs I could find on various blogs, soulseek – or which some nice reggae enthuasiast and collectors shared with me. While I am just now writing this blogpost and putting together the tracklist for this post – I discovered the very detailed article/interview Black is the Highest Culture –The Jewells by Peter I on his very nice website reggae-vibes.com. Good stuff – and according to the interview with Glasford Manning it seems that Leggo who ran Cash & Carry and Leggo Sounds records is still sitting on songs by the Jewells worth two albums! Lets hope there is gonna be a release of their songs some day – they deserve to be heard! Here is a copy of the Penny Reel article (which doesn't seem to be online on the Firecorner website anymore):

"The Jewels in the Crown" - by Penny Reel (NME / 9 November 1985)

The handful of records from The Jewels released towards the latter part of the '70s are among the final flourishes of a long standing tradition in Jamaican popular music.

The vocal group is a constant in the island's recorded music that extends back as far as the pre-ska Jiving Juniors and The Maytals, though it is during the rock steady era in the mid-'60s when the style comes properly into its own and provides much of the more memorable sounds of the time. Similarly, during the Ras Tafari resurgence of the '70s, the style is adapted by former rock steady outfits like The Wailers, Gladiators, Ethiopians, etc and newer groups such as the original Burning Spear, Culture, The Abyssinians and many more. With the advent of the dancehall genre in the '80s the solo singer has moved back into the ascendant and the vocal group all but vanished from the scene.

The first of the Jewels collection is itself a solo effort: Prophecy Call recorded by Glassford Manning, produced by the Sir Niney and issued in JA on the Observer imprint is a sufferers plaint rendered in the manner then favoured by the Freedom Sounds roster of artists operating out of Greenwich Farm in Kingston.

When I later ask Niney for details concerning this obscure side, he tells me that Manning is the lead singer of a vocal group, The Jewels, he has been recording, and shortly after this the first of the group's waxings surface in the London pre outlets: Jah I, credited to The Jewels and again released on Observer.

This first group effort is an ehortation in defence of Ras Tafari propelled along by the double drumming recently popularised by Sly. "Although the wicked they try to cramp 'gainst I and I", Manning warns, "they shall stumble and fall." The fourfold rhythm is expounded to even greater effect on the dub I Jah as performed by The Observer Wild. The song duly forms the A-side of their sole UK issue, on Observer discomix through the auspices of Count Shelley's Third World centre, and couple with a further Jewels title unissued in Jamaica, called Black Is The Highest Culture.

Their next and final three releases mark the group's sudden shift of allegiance from Niney to Leggo Beast's Cash and Carry label. The first of these, Love and Livity, is the Jewels' single gem. Penned jointly by B. Davis (presumable Bobby Davis, former singer with The Sensations rock steady vocal group) and Glassford Manning, the song is a lilting, humanitarian hymn with weaving harmonies, which harkens back to the rock steady style. Big Youth was moved sufficiently to toast a version.

Dream Lover Babe, which followed, was again evidence of the group's gentler side, and once more its debt to rock steady is marked in both use of harmonies and production. A dignified piece.

Their last was Slave Trade credited to just Jewels and released in 1979 on a new Cash and Carry imprint, with some polemic detailing inquity under the yoke as its title suggests. "They treated us with brutality, and they treated us with no humanity," are the last words from The Jewels as the song fades. Since when a silence.

Except for a single footnote: a solo effort released in 1981 on the Beast's eponymous Leggo Sounds label from one Porti Jewel entitled Staring At Me Girl, a further G. Manning composition. Are Porti and Glasford one and the same man? The vocal suggests as much.

The style of vocal groups like The Jewels may be obsolete in the current dancehall runnings but their message remains intact. (end of Penny Reel article)

As I only have 60 minutes of music by the Jewells – I added a few songs by other great Jamaican harmony trios that I believe suit this compilation. AND! If any of you dear readers got some more info or songs by the Jewells, please please please let me know, leave a comment and share it/them with us all :)


Thursday, February 23, 2012

~ a month in tunes 25.0 (2012 shai'li) ~

ambassadeurs - m.o.p.e
anthony hamilton - oh lord (the apple scruffs edit)
betty green - he's down on me
butch clancy - russian lullaby
citizens! - true romance
cunninLynguists - lynguistics
deloris ealy - deloris is back with jerome and his band
devendra banhart - shabop shalom
django django - default
electric guest - american dream
emiliana torrini - jungle drums
frankie lymon - itty bitty pretty one (prince of ballard edit)
freqnik & wdre - beatnuts off the books vs j rawls
hansi edit - hot pants road
hansi edit - humdinger
joder - palov ft ang.angelides (instr)
little sonny - the creeper returns
paul whire - doldrums
perrion - fire ant
phyllis dllon - perfidia
ralph mcdonald - the path
sir victor uwaifo - iye iye oh
the debonaires - in the rain (remix)
the decoders - hey there lonely boy ft coco owino
the montclairs - hung up on your loveeeeeee
twit one - do bem
twit one - tereza
wankelmut - one day

Here finally is another ~ a month in tunes 25.0 (2012 shai'li) ~ selection by my friend and fellow music/photo/picture/love/fun/art/life blogger Duendiness, who also shared the nice picture I used for this post. After I got back from my six week long holiday in Thailand and Malaysia – I was looking forward to Shai'li's latest musical discoveries – especially after he mentioned that he found a musical goldmine! And woah! quite some mighty tunes and other surprises in here. Let me share a few with you - the ones that hit me straight – love on first listening – yeah!: „In the Rain (remix)“ by The Debonaires, an old Harry Mudie production I have never heard off! It was originally released on a Tobin 7inch someday in the 1970ies. Who made the remix? Not much info available – but this song is a real gem – that just comes – keeps floating along – and then goes... Harry Mudie is one of my most favorite Jamaican producers (among the many other great producers!). His riddim tracks, often recorded at Studio One, are always heavy and strong - but at the same time also very melodic and well crafted. He is also responsible for some classic and often versioned Jamaican Riddims. Besides that he worked with some of the best Jamaican vocalists like John Holt, Dennis Walks, the Heptones, Ebony Sisters, The Eternals, Lloyd Jones and the late great Slim Smith - a sure win combination! After I listened to this song for the first time – I thought it sounded somewhat familiar – and yes! Its a cover of The Dramatics In The Rain from 1971 which some of you readers might also know. Another sweet surprise was the song „The Path“ by Ralph McDonald, which I think Beatconductor used for his song/edit/remix „Caribbean Path“. Its always nice when things begin to connect musically – and everything makes meaning on a deeper level. Next are two great edits/reworks by MPM producer Twit One. The first one „Do Bem“ is an edit of O Caminho do Bem from Tim Maia, an Brazilian artist worth checking out for his many great great songs – probably my biggest favorite is his often (!?) sampled 15+ minute long spiritual anthem Rational Culture from the album „Racional' Seroma“ (1974). „Tereza“ - the second tune by Twit One is an edit of another Brazilean Song: „Tereza Guerreira” from Antonio Carlos & Jocafi. Good sexy Latin music to play on your Sunday afternoon Bar-B-Q. Also check out Twit One's mixtape Discoe Cultura on soundcloud or his beatcamp site for more songs. Another favorite is „Shabop Shalom“ by Devendra Banhart. After I played this song twice today, my girlfriend kept humming it all the time – so this one is definitely a song for the ladies :) Should take my time to make a „Lady Mixtape“ sometime – which one of my favorite musical Bloggers out there - „The Prince of Ballard“ - did I while ago. Check out his „Lady Mix“ here. The intro of the song „Shabop Shalom“ reminds me a bit of Donavan's intro to his song Atlantisa song my father had on one of the many mixtapes he played at home when I was still a little boy. The rest of the song „Shabop Shalom“ is equally great – sweeter than Elvis, Doo Wop(er) than Doo Wop... Did I just mentioned the „Prince“ somewhere? Well, I was lucky to find one of my most favorite songs of the last few months available for a free download on his soundcloud page a while ago – and if that isn't enough – Shai'li shares it again with us! I am talking about the Prince of Ballard edit of „Frankie Lymon - Itty Bitty Pretty One. This edit has been driving me crazy. Sooo sweet, sooo deep, sooo good... Not only my girlfriend was humming it for hours every time I played it. I didn't know that an edit can add such depth to a song! Hopefully there will be many more edits from the Prince of Ballard in 2012! Its seems to be impossible to post anything on my blog without mentioning the mighty Soundway label. This time it's the sweet song „Iye Iye Oh“ from the legendary Nigerian Guitar giant Sir Victor Uwaifo, which was released in 2008 on Soundways Sir Victor Uwaifo: Guitar Boy Superstar1970-76 album. Pure niceness – listen yourself! I am going to end my own list of favorites with the electronic, minimal and very soulful groover Wankelmut - One Day“. And now you can download Shai'li's latest discoveries – and share your very own favorites in the comment section with us ;-) AND! This is only the January selection – I will hopefully get Shai'li's musical favorites from the month of December 2011 during the next few days – and share it here as well. Enjoy! DubMe

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Gaga vs Holy Warbles" - or - "Guilty until proven innocent?"

In today's post I want to link to the very well written article "Guilty until proven innocent" from the eclectic music blog Bodega Pop... Well, let's hope John Gilmore is right: "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beatz & Carrots #3 (December 2011)

01 - the last minister - tribute to jb family
02 - odyssey - going back to my roots
03 - xl - take 5 (kool summer mix)
04 - krystian shek - got soul (poldoore remix)
05 - lord echo - things i like to do
06 - mr president - left and right
07 - marcia griffiths - feel like jumping (daytoner edit)
08 - mishkin - free
09 - the legendary 1979 orchestra - sunny
10 - jimmy hughes - i'm a man of action
11 - k - back to basics feat elaine dowling (original mix)
12 - little roy - come as you are
13 - circle research - stop look listen to your heart
14 - dj dus - cuando lo negro sea bello
15 - la playa sextet - pachanga con la playa (hobo d reedit)
16 - johnny clarke - johnny judgment (kid gusto edit)
17 - the bombay royale - sote sote
18 - volfoniq - balkan banghra
19 - merlin shepherd - pass the kasha (streamerpilot unkosher mix)

Hi everyone! Its been a long time I haven't updated my blog. To be exact: 2 months. Sorry about that. The last three weeks of December I was busy writing finals at University, which didn't leave me with enough time to take care of the blog or even compile some fresh compilations. On December 29th I then flew from Chengdu/China to Chiang Mai/Thailand - seeing my dentist there - and then having a 6 week long holiday – traveling Thailand and Malaysia, visiting friends, eating good food, lots of blue sky, sunshine and new inspirations! While trying to escape the afternoon heat on a little tropical island in the deep south of Thailand for a few hours, I tried to update my blog – but my blog was all in Thai, making it impossible to leave a little message ;-) But now I am back again. Gotta start writing my thesis these days – and then in June this year I hopefully should have earned myself a little degree – not that I am really planing to use it - but at least my parents & grandparents should be happy. I rather hope to be a natural gardener some day, working with my hands while listening to music...

Talking about music – here is my fresh selection of December favorites. As always – eclecticism is the name of the game. Starting with the very funky and groovy „Tribute to JB Family“ by The Last Minister, which was released on the Italian label Irma Records back in 1992 - which makes me wonder how I could have missed this song for so long! Well prepare yourself for 6:19 minute long tour de funk with a bit of a dirty house touch. The next song - keeps the groove - but gets a little more soulful with a nice version of „Going back to my Roots“ by Odyssey. Two other versions of this song I like are Richie Havens cover - and the original by Lamont Dozier. The 3rd song almost gets a little cheesy, having a strong 80ies Jazz feeling – but somehow I dig it! And with a song versioning Dave Brubeck's „Take 5“ one usually can't go too wrong. Track #7 is a very nice edit by Mr Daytoner from Cornwall, England of Marcia Griffiths „Feel Like Jumping“ - if you ask me – pure dancefloor gold! This is what Mr Daytoner had to say about this edit: „...We'll take you back to the very beginning' - this is the first edit I ever made for DJ sets (a few years ago now) - a basic edit of Marcia Griffiths classic from 1968 with just a break & a couple of samples extended over the fade to ensure regular use in sets (also used it for the opening track on the Daytoner Radio Debut mix)“. Track #9 is a great deep discoish cover of „Sunny“ by the mysterious DJ and producer „The Legendary 1979 Orchestra“ from Romania. The song „Sunny“, originally sung and written by Bobby Hebb in 1963 (and its countless versions) has always been a favorite of mine. That song even got me a date! Some 10 years ago, while I was working in a second-hand book and record shop in Germany, I remember one day a nice lady was entering the shop, catching my attention. And the minute I played that song she gave me a sweet smile. La Playa Sextet - Pachanga Con La Playa (Hobo D Reedit) - track #15 is a bouncing cumbiaish reedit by Hobo D. Really nice. But unfortunately he hasn't been updating his soundcloud page for ages. Hopefully he reads my blog and shares some more edits soon :) I'm ending this compilation with some Indian and Balkan sounds: Track # 17, which is „Sote Sote“ by The Bombay Royale – a fast drivin' funky rocky something song with some crazy crazy crazy Moog like only dem Indians can play it ;-) Track #18 is called „Balkan Banghra“ by Volfoniq - and it definitely got fire! Nice song mixing Balkan elements with Indian Banghra and some dirty electronics! Check out Volfoniq and the rest of the album „Ernest“– which they kindly share for free on their website

Enjoy! DubMe

P.S.: While I have been away travelling it seems that not only in China they have been busy blocking websites – but also in „The West“. Some blogs I have been following for ages have been taken down – among them the wonderful „Holywarbles“ music blog which has drawn my attention to a many wonderful albums! Well I hope „Holywarbles“ comes back – stronger than before - „Freedom of discovery on the web!“ And I am not sure if my multiupload.com links are still working. At least I can't open Multiupload in China anymore. Please let me know if you can still access my DL links. If not, I will be happy to replace them with working ones...