With Island plundering their vaults for another box set to celebrate their half centenary, last month they released War Ina Babylon; a tribute to the past 40 years of Reggae. Being a collector this appealed straight away but upon arrival it got me thinking about how much I love the world of Jamaican Wax. I don't think any other genre can provide original tracks with some of the finest bands or creativity in making singles with the most porous musicians in the world who soak up the current sounds and re-interpret them with a funkier beat.
Everyone from the Beatles to The Temptations have been regurgitated into something so thick it sticks to the walls! Check out the Baby Washington / Dusty Springfield cover of Breakfast In Bed by Lorna Bennett on the first CD for a slice of early 70's reggae, or Val Bennett's version of Dave Brubeck's Take Five for a sax-led Rocksteady treat! Pioneering new sounds with the early Ska of Derrick Morgan and even Desmond Dekker – absorbing jazz, R&B and calypso into a heavy mass that makes you dance 'til your feet fall off. This is only the first CD of three and grabbing the baton from a flagging Trojan Records, here's hoping for a new appreciation for Jamaica's best export.
Posted by Adam