HI YO:  Keith Foundation + The Black Disciples

Hello, how you been? Today, we’re going to talk about HI YO,  Keith Foundation’s brand new album with The Black Disciples

and here is the record label: the Star Of David, a symbol for Rastafarians, Israelites, but also so many other cultures since times immemorial

The records finally arrived from Optimal in Germany. They look good and shiny and black and they sound pretty good if you ask me. I haven’t done an unwrapping video or a turntable video, maybe some time in the near future if I can get my butt off the couch this Sunday… Not likely at the moment. Here is a photograph

Anyway, I don’t know if I mentioned how this album came to be. It’s fashionable nowadays to defecate on the evilous Facebook Evil Empire. Well I will say that Facebook was where I saw a video posted by Rob Dulcemania, whom I’d never talked or interacted with before. So thank you Evil Empire and here is the video he posted (from the YT evil empire. Gosh! nothing but evil corporations around us!!!!)

I went wow, they (Foundation) are still around. For those who don’t know who Foundation was, here is a one minute summary: Foundation was a trio from the hills in the Parish of St Mary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Mary_Parish,_Jamaica

Foundation (Keith Douglas, Emillo “Father” Smiley, Euston “Ipal” Thomas)  released three albums on Island records at the end of the 80’s (“Heart Feel It” and “Flames” 2 albums produced by Jack Ruby with Sly & Robbie and members of Third World) and in the mid-90’s (“One shirt” produced by Sly & Robbie and Clive Hunt). When those albums came out, Jamaican music had become 100% dancehall on cheap drum machine riddims that I thought were a musical disgrace. By contrast, those albums, along with the records by Earth Messengers and Donovan (although these were more uneven), also on Island, helped me greatly not give up on Jamaican music in the late 80’s…

I thought Keith’s songs, attitude and style would be perfect for the Black Disciples, Jack Ruby’s studio band in the 70’s, who backed Burning Spear on his legendary albums, or Justin Hinds, Ken Boothe, etc… I am the hugest fan of Jack Ruby’s productions with those musicians and cherish watching the studio scenes in “Rockers”. I know I would not be able to gather the full band, but at least the nucleus: Horsemouth Wallace on Drums, Robbie Shakespeare on bass, Chinna Smith on guitar, completed by Robbie Lyn on keyboards (the original player was Tarzan Nelson, currently living in Florida). We had already tested the concept a couple years before for Skully Sims and had been beautiful.

I called Robbie Shakespeare to enquire about Keith and Robbie told me he was cool to work with so I contacted Rob the guy who’d posted the video to know more and one thing led to another, Rob was real cool and helped me get through to Cecil Campbell (who just found out he is a son of Prince Buster!), who connected me to Keith, who doesn’t have an internet connection.

When I talked to Keith for the first time, my heart was filled with gratitude for the moments of solace and joy he had provided me. We were able to come to an agreement to produce 7 songs with the Disciples.

We were lucky that Robbie had 3 days to kill before his flight back to Florida after doing 3 weeks of sessions for Zac Starr, Ringo Starr’s son, a badass drummer and guitarist, who was recording top artists, including U Roy, Big Youth and new singers, with top musicians, mostly from Jamaica, but also from New Orleans. Interesting combo.

Robbie linked the other musicians and they went to Anchor (Gussie Clarke’s studio, which I use all the time). Recording “Hi Yo” was a hit and run operation: they recorded the riddims on Monday June 4, 2018 and the vocals on Tuesday June 5, 2018, as you probably guessed. Here is a video from the studio session

I was so happy to see Horsemouth, Chinna and Robbie reunited in a studio. What a simply fabulous section. Man, I feel so blessed to have produced music with this formation!!! Jack Ruby’s productions in the 70’s are the top of the top in Roots Rockers music. One of my top 5 albums is “Jack Ruby Hi-Fi” and to have the nucleus of those musicians is a source of joy and blessings.

Can you identify them from left to right? The first 5 good answers will receive a high resolution audio file of “Tek It Like That” from HI YO

I knew that I was never going to have the same sound in the studio and it would be silly to try anyway. This is 2019 and, since the 70’s, Jamaican musicians have drastically changed how they play their music, record it and how they sound. I wanted a raw sound. So, no horns (which would have been nice on a couple tracks, but would have changed the mood of the album).

When I heard the mp3s of the sessions I received from them the next morning, I KNEW I wanted to showcase those fabulous musicians because they had given these songs their professional and artistic best. Believe me, these gentlemen’s best is very very good and unfortunately way too rare these days. The sound is SO Jamaican, so fucking roots, yet so funky. I absolutely love those instrumentals. and I’m proud to release a showcase album with these heroes of mine backing a nice rootsical singer with interesting lyrics and melodies.

And I like Keith, he is really good and a unique song writer. He is his own. Sometimes his vocal timbre reminds me of Wailing Souls or Gladiators but he has definitely his own energy. And what’s nice is that he is not some demon worshipping tattooed coked out skin-bleached asshole on autotune if you know what I mean. Fuck yeah, I’d rather support those vibes, with that rootsical, heartical sound, even though my contribution to the “positive roots reggae” cause is probably minuscule and meaningless!

Then Bravo (from SmallWorld Studio downtown Kingston) stayed at my place during the Summer and we mixed the album together. Here is a video with the setup

As you can see there is no sound isolation, the windows are open, a sheet of paper is blocking the sound from the right speaker (at least it’s a super nice pair of Adam monitors), among other offenses. NOT KOSHER AT ALL, but we made it sound phat by working on the sound and listening, benchmarking the sound of records we liked and knew by heart to figure out how to mix properly (and heavy!).

Right away, I wanted to extend the versions and create discomix versions, because:

1. I fukcing love that format, which reminds me of the golden age of 12″ records with the dub following the song seamlessly so the DJ could drop his lyrics
2. I wanted to showcase the brilliant musicianship of the Black Disciples.

You can grab a copy of the album (I beg you please to buy one or two copies so I can continue to record these incredible musicians and those wicked singers)

https://taxitabou1.bandcamp.com/album/hi-yo-lp-2


I conducted a phone interview of Keith on August 3, 2018 and thought you might enjoy reading the fascinating tales this man had in store for me

I was born March 26, 1952 in Saint Mary’s hospital. My parents were strugglers. My mother is still around at 92 years of age and she is doing OK, not feeling any pain, which is good at that age. I had 4 brothers and 4 sisters, I have three younger brothers and sisters.

I started singing the same year Toots did the Bam Bam festival song. The following year, me and a bredrin named Bobby Trusty entered the festival contest in Saint Mary but nothing happened. The next year Trusty had left, when you’re young and meet a pretty girl, you know how it goes… So I entered alone as Errol Douglas and won in Saint Mary, then I won in Portland, but didn’t win in Kingston, although many in the crowd thought I should have. It was a love song for festival, I don’t remember it. Then people start thinking I was Errol Dunkley, because we both have the same first name and our last names sound similar, and at the time we had the same voice range. So I knew I had to change my name sooner or later!

I went back to the country and started a band with a few bredrin. We didn’t have money and couldn’t buy instruments. Our drum was just a congo drum, but still we practiced.

I went back regularly to Kingston at Joe Gibbs and one night around 5:30, Errol Thompson auditioned me. I sang a tune called “Jah Can Do It”. They laid the track with Sly, Lloyd Parks, Touter and Gladdy. But they never did anything with it. Then one day a friend of mine played me this Dennis Brown tune called “Jah Can Do It”: it was my tune, except that Errol Thompson had credited himself as the song writer!

Sometimes you have to pay to learn, seen? I decided that I would never work with town producers again.

Then a friend of mine from church school took me to Jack Ruby. I auditioned 2 songs there and Jack told me I needed good harmonies, saying he could ask the Gaylads or the Heptones to sing harmonies. But I said, no let me practice with our people. Initially there were three harmonies, but one of them got a girl pregnant and had to leave so there were just two harmonies. I prefer 2 harmonies anyway. After a while we went back to Jack Ruby and recorded the song “Barriers”. You can see the audition on YouTube. Jack took the song to Chris Blackwell and Blackwell loved it so we recorded a full album in 1988.

That year, we toured 4 or 5 countries in Europe with Yellowman, Donovan and a Rap group. I don’t remember their name.

Then in 1989, we recorded another album with Jack Ruby and toured the US.

But when Jack Ruby passed away, we had no management and couldn’t make a move. In 1996, Chris Blackwell launched a new label in Jamaica called Island Jamaica and signed us to do the “One shirt” album. But we never toured the album because we still had no manager to take care of us.

Finally, in 1999, we toured the US on our own. Then I Pal got cancer and passed away in 2001, while Smiley decided to stay in America. I love Jamaica and I stayed here in Jamaica. I don’t want to leave Jamaica and live a foreign.

I try to make a living as a musician, I do stage shows in Jamaica, and I keep writing songs. I write songs with an acoustic guitar. I rehearse them a lot before I feel I’m ready to record them. Even for demo, I want to rehearse a lot before. But the music has changed and artists nowadays listen to riddims and write songs to the riddims. Vince Morgan from Studio One and I work together and he sometimes gives me riddims so I can write to those. Papa Curvin too. I don’t prefer that, but I can do it. I prefer to work with musicians where I sing my song on the guitar, so they get the tone and can build a riddim based on my song. I have nuff tunes in my head, ready to record.

Right now, I just want to go back on the road in Europe and America and tour the new album.

(P) © 2018-2019 TABOU1-Mideya


And here are the credits and lyrics for this wonderful project

Bass:                                   Robbie Shakespeare

Drums:                               Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace

Guitar:                                Earl “Chinna” Smith, Robbie Shakespeare

Keyboards:                        Robbie Lyn

Studio:                               Anchor Recording Studio, Kingston Jamaica,          TABOU1 Studio

Recording engineer:         Delroy “Phatta” Pottinger

Mixing engineer:               Gaylard Bravo, Guillaume Bougard

Mastering:                          François Terrazzoni, Studio Parelies, Paris, France

Musical director:               Robbie Shakespeare

Producer:                           Guillaume Bougard for TABOU1-Mideya

Artwork:                            Laurent Gudin

Photos:                              Cecil Buster, Wonder Knack, Laurent Gudin

Special Thanks:                 Rob Dulcemania for his initial link and continuous support, Cecil Buster @ Junkyard Music Production for his invaluable assistance, Robbie Shakespeare for his time and generosity (+ the freaking awesome music), Robbie Lyn the maestro, Chinna Smith the virtuoso and Horsemouth the Drum Don Gorgon (the nucleus of Jack Ruby’s legendary Black Disciples band, no less), Teacher & Mr. T @ reggae-vibes.com

All songs:                           lyrics: Errol Douglas, music: Robert Shakespeare

Published by Funky Gemini Inc. (ASCAP)

© (P) 2019 Mideya


And the lyrics (all songs published by Funky Gemini Inc. (ASCAP))

BROADWAY

Broadway Broadway Broadway

Catch me on Broadway

(x2)

Driving out on the freeway

Heading for the highway

On tha highway heading for

Broadway

(x2)

Broadway Broadway Broadway

Here I come, got to take some time

To free our mind, from tha tension

Of life tha surround you

Got to take your baby out to a movie

Or take her for a stage show on

Broadway Broadway Broadway

That the place to be

(x2)

On Broadway

Tha clown will be there

Joker will be there

Hornman will be there

Bob Marley won’t be there

Peter Tosh won’t be there

Jacob Miller Joseph Hill won’t be there

On Broadway Broadway Broadway

Tha tha place to be

Broadway Broadway

It’s like a home away from home

On Broadway Broadway

It’s like you in another world

When you are on Broadway

(x3)

  1. WICKED MAN

Mr. Wicked, Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna run to

Mr. Wicked, Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna hide

(x2)

Selling out your soul to tha devil

To achieve vanity

Making deal with evil

What a high price to pay

Mr. Wicked, Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna run to

Mr. Wicked, Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna hide

Mr. Wicked, Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna run to

And miss Wicked miss Wicked woman

Where you gonna hide

Working negro Mancy

Holding down your brothers and sisters you see

Just to be the cream of tha crop

But you living on borrow time

Jah Jah a go beat you beat you beat you

Mr. Wicked man

Jah Jah a go beat you beat you beat you

Miss Wicked woman

You living on borrow time

And your time is winding out as well

Mr. Wicked, Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna run to

Mr. Wicked, Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna hide

Mr. Wicked, Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna run to

And Miss Wicked, Miss Wicked woman

Where you gonna hide

They shall run to tha rock but

There will be no hiding place

They shall run run, run, run till

They can’t run no more

Mr. Wicked Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna run to

Mr. Wicked Mr. Wicked man

Where you gonna hide

(x2)

MOTHERS CRYING

Mothers crying, children dying

Mothers crying, crying

Inna London city Toronto City

Inna New York City people feel tha pain

Inna London city Toronto City

Inna New York City people feel tha pain

Brothers fighting brothers

Sisters fighting sisters

Because of tha evilous system

Nation fighting against nation

Religion fight against religion because

Of man idea and plan

Inna Bombay City inna Kingston City

Way over in Harlem People crying

Children dying while some while some

Having fun while tha heads of state having fun

People feel tha pain

Want it want it want it want it want it want it want it want it

Cannot get it cannot get it

Hey have it have it have it have it have it have it have it have it

Just don’t waste it a waste it

While tha children crying for something to eat

And tha parents crying cost of living is too high

People feel tha pain

While some having fun

People pay tha price

While some drinking wine

People pay tha price

While some having champagne

People feel tha pain

While some making law

People feel tha pain

I ‘n’ I feel tha pain I ‘n’ I feel tha pain (x4)

THEY NEVER LISTEN

Hey Jim

What happen to her men

She got mess up

ha ha

She never listen to mama

She never listen daddy

And now she learn tha way

That’s the only way some people learn

She is only sixteen

And she already have a family

She is facing responsibilities she was not ready for

It blow her mind

It change her ways

She start drink she start smoke

She roam the street at night

Doing all kind of funny things that ant right

Let me tell you about her younger brother

Never listen to daddy

hH never listen to mama

And he too learn tha hard way

He became a gangster

One of tha most dangerous man in town

Now he is in a wheelchair get hit by a bullet

Oh damn

Ha ha ha ha ha ha oh

They never listen to Mama

They never listen to Daddy

They never listen to tha voices of experience

They never listen to tha elders

They never listen to no other

They ignore tha voices of experience, oh

There is only two way to learn

Listen and learn or pay to learn, oh

They never listen to Mama

They never listen to Daddy

They never listen to tha voices of experience

They never to the elders

They never listen to no other

They ignore tha voices of experience

HI YO

HI Yo HI Yo looking back in tha past

Of what we have been through

Travelling through tha middle passage

Beyond sea of seas

And call round here tha Caribbean sea

Where we suffer Lord

When we think about Africa

Mother land Africa

Hi Yo Hi Yo Hi Yo Hi Yo

African bound Hi Yo Hi Yo

When we think of Africa we think about home

That where we should be

More than down here in captivity

Treat us like we are nothing

Treat us like footstool

But Jah let us survive there evilous devices

Hi Yo Hi Yo Hi Yo Hi Yo

We will survive

All that they do

we will survive

In my history

There I can see

They did not care for our ancestors

So they don’t care for you and I

All they have in their mind

is to keep us in slavery

And down wanna set us free

but we have to be free

Looking back at tha past

Of what we have we have been through

Looking back at tha past

Pure sadness I see

Looking back at tha past

Pure sad memories

Looking back Hi Yo Hi Yo Hi Yo

TEK IT LIKE THAT

No believe we ago sit down

And just a take it like that no

No believe we ago sit down

And just a take it like that

Every day could never be the same

And they know that we are to some aim

No believe we ago sit down

And just a take it like that no

No believe we ago sit down

And just a take it like that

Just a watch the children them a die

just a watch poor people a cry

Just a watch the whole of us a die

Me ago take up some

No believe we ago sit down

And just a take it like that no

No believe we ago sit down

And just a murmur everyday

Here comes tha time (x4)

Every man got to take a stand (x2) yes

To build a better nation (x2)

They give us basket to carry water (x2)

Right now they wanna rule our destiny

Like how they don’t wanna set us free

But No believe we ago sit down

And just a take it like that no

No believe we ago sit down

And just a murmur every day

Here comes tha time (x4)

Every man got to take a stand

Every man got to take a stand yes

RUB A DUB

I met this girl from Virginia

Her name is Kadina

Her beauty is fit for a magazine cover

When I look at Kadina

How she is moving like a undercover

I wonder how good she is undercover

Fi rub a dub inna the morning

Rub a dub inna the evening

Rub a dub rub a dub all night long

Rub a dub inna the morning

Rub a dub inna the evening

Rub a dub rub a dub all night long

Tha way how she was moving

She got me thinking

What a hell when she discover

I’m a undercover law enforcer

Rub a dub inna the morning

Rub a dub inna the evening

Rub a dub rub a dub all night long

Rub a dub inna the morning

Rub a dub inna the evening

Rub a dub rub a dub me and Kadina

Lord she bad undercover

Lord Lord she know her work undercover

Lord she bad undercover

Lord Lord she know her work undercover

Kadina (x2)

Bong bong goes tha rain (x2)

Riva to the bank

Riva overflow its bank

Bong bong goes tha mix (x2)

Mento mix with calypso

Take her where the water flow

And rub a dub inna the morning

Rub a dub inna the evening

Rub a dub rub a dub all night long

rub a dub inna the morning

Rub a dub inna the evening

Rub a dub rub a dub me and Kadina


For those who are interested to know more about Foundation, Mr. T, reggae-vibes.com’s honcho scanned several pages from a book about reggae. I then used an OCR app to transcribe the scan into the following text

To get across the ancient message the music seemed to need to take new forms. Foundation, a roots trio in every sense of the word, flew against reggae’s new face when they first appeared on the scene and seem today to stand in stark contrast to the sound, if not the new vision, of the “new” reggae. They are not the last harmony group a few new outfits like Brown, Eagle and Spear, and Fire Facts have come up behind and alongside them–but they come in a traditional style at a time of change.

Their first two albums, produced by the late Jack Ruby, were a step forward for a music that had occasionally faltered but never fallen. The return to militancy, strong and simple tracks and arrangements with penetrating lyrics added up to songs that stuck with you and spoke for this time as Black Uhurus “Sinsemilla” or Bob Marley and the Wailers’ “Exodus” did for theirs.

Errol “Keith” Douglass voice is one of those unique and abiding sounds for which Jamaica is rightly famous. Like an Albert Griffiths or a Justin Hinds, Douglas doesn’t have to try to sound like anyone but himself. Emilio “Pupa” Smiley and Euston “Ipal” Thomas lay a bed of harmonies for Douglas’s animated and heartfelt delivery the back-and-forth blend of harmony and lead weave a textured sound for the lyrics to cascade over. In live shows Foundation exhibits a bold intensity and a writhing, expressive presence.

The trio grew up in the Port Maria area of Jamaica, also home base for the group Earth Messengers. The two groups, and a third from the area, Link ‘n Chain, have traded members around so that each band has members who have been in both other bands at one time or another. Other people that come from or passed through Port Maria in their formative years include Johnny Osbourne, Ini Kamoze, and Admiral Tibet. The members of Foundation grew up listening to Rock Steady and later groups like the Diamonds and the Wailers. Soon enough they moved on to their own songs, says Ipal, “In Port Maria, we have a little band we call Black Brothers Roots. That was our real main development in the music. I used to play a little drums, and Donovan played the bass, Keith play a rhythm guitar, Pupa did play the guitar, one of the harmonies in Earth Messengers did play, and our next brethren played melodica. Pupa originally sang with the Revealers, which first became Earth’s Last Messengers and later became Earth Messengers. A few years later they changed their name again to Jah Messengers. “I and I grew up and come see music as a powerful force in Port Maria,” he says. “Port Maria is a very musical vibe. Some man a play wicked bongo there, and I and I come see mento strong. Is like we grow up with just the vibes there. Singing in the churchyard vibes.”

Adds Keith, “Music is a thing you have to born with. If you no really born with it, you can’t really keep it up and work together so long. Is just music inside the three of us. You’ll see the time an album come out with a group called Link and Chain (it has since been released), the final album that Jack Ruby produce. Culture same as Foundation, Donovan, and Earth Messengers.”

Like many young singers Keith’s first studio session did not survive intact. “Me is a man who pass through Joe Gibbs’ studio,” he notes of his early days, “doing solo and do a song already, but I would say in a dem young days there, we probably nah ride the rhythm the right way, so a next singer take it and do it.

The singer was Dennis Brown and the was “Jah Can Do It,” but, says Keith, “that passed by I would say normally that happens by producer. Producer say, well, is just a country youth. So after that now we just come to work with this man l Pal first. After work with Joe Gibbs, me say me nah work with no more uptown producer, because him might change me mind if me have to think to be like some deadly man to them or something. Them think them would change we mind or reduce we down from really positive. So we just thrown out with those things and start work with a group now.

“Jack Ruby do music with the Revealers, so me just check Jack Ruby. First start out with a next brethren before Pupa, but we never ready, you know. We go inna studio, but song nah live up to a standard the man show we have to work on it. And we realize that because we know positive heights. So we work along with it for many years till we build it to the heights, seen?”

Tracks from the Revealers and the early version of Earth Messengers (then called Earth’s Last Messengers) are available on an early Clappers anthology called Jack Ruby Hi-Fi, Clappers was one of the first New York reggae labels and though their releases are now difficult to find they are, like the releases of New York’s Bullwackies label, among the best. It’s obvious from his own modest output that Ruby sought a conscious sound and his music was always edifying and uplifting. There’s no such thing as a slack Jack Ruby tune.

“Most people love the rhythm section more than the lyrics,” explains Keith. “You have people who listen to the lyrics more. The two of them go along, but the lyrics are the main thing still, you know Jack Ruby is a man that typical upon the lyrics. No matter what rhythm go on, him always want to have good lyrics-conscious vibration. With Jack Ruby, you have to have something positive. Something you know will live on. Is a man cool still. Not a man operate like some brethren! Mostly him can joke and steady yourself. Not rushing towards it. A man really nice to work with. Some men dem money a go buy Mafia bread. But with Jack Ruby, just relax back yourself and study life.”

The passing of Jack Ruby left a hole in the fabric of roots reggae production, Keith summed up the loss for the band. “We, it’s like, can’t look beyond the future. Make we just relax. I and I come fe do a certain work. We can’t really stop, you know. We just hafta continue.”

Of the militant cultural attitude Foundation shares with their reggae forerunners like Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, and Jacob Miller, Keith says simply, “Not all man can do it. Most men are afraid. Who wants to die?” At this remark the entire band, in typical Rasta fashion, laughs “You have man who never think about that, just do positive works. Whether it hit the white man or it hit the black, we have to spread the message.” I wondered aloud that the group laughed so easily but always appeared unsmiling in photographs, Keith explained it as “Vibes. If you’re serious inside, you can’t laugh outside.”

One of their best songs, “Beverley Hills. recently been recut with a wicked DJ part by conscious rapper Prezident Brown Keith declares We a reach here Los Angeles) but we dont like, tour upon dem (Beverly Hills),” I want take a look,” Ipal rejoins, “I get a little glimpse on Beverly, but I dont get no glimpse of Watts inna the ghetto yet.”

The idea of the song work out like and poor,” Keith explained, because the poorman down at the bottom at the bottom would like to get rich. So him just start looking upon the rich, and the rich one looking down at the valley.” In the he names the places “rich people live Beverly Hills, Sweden, Buckingham-and most of the wealth come from Africa … we built Beverly Hills,” then names “Harlem, Brixton. inna the Ghetto/Where poor people live.” He doesn’t even try to tell you what to do about it.

As the images of the earthquake and aftermath flooded the screen, I asked about their upcoming appearance in the Bay Area. “San Francisco, that’s in trouble now?” mused Keith. “Sign of the times.” It’s a song title from Heart Feel It.

“Lot of trouble down there, we don’t even know what’s going on. Symptom and sign (the title of another Foundation song), that’s the truth. Certain areas get certain lick. Still, if you even nah live the right way, said the Almighty in it. Whether black or white, if him nah hear and nah live right, him father will just divide and wash away anything him want, y’know. If Father nah struck them tomorrow with earthquake, them would a gone back in them badness, too.”

As we spoke of earthquake and fire, Haile Selassie I, Rastafari himself, moved to the fore of the conversation. “To me,” said Keith, “I see H.I.M. as a great king. In myself me check that the Almighty is in everyone. The Almighty is life. The Almighty can’t dead. No man can destroy the Almighty. But we see him as a great king in our time.”

I Pal put forward his point of view as well. The I is the King of the whole universe! All rights still, you know. A man live on the basis how you think of him. A man can’t be living any if l and I don’t see him at the heights.

So spiritually within the I, I see life. If it wrong, I say it live for you. But is I say life. So the I is the greatest king of earth, ’cause life maintain all things. Life keepeth all flesh.”

In 1996 Foundation released their third album, One Shirt (Island Jamaica). When I first interviewed the group, I called Foundation “the future of reggae.” Predicting the future has never been easy, as Keith himself pointed out in the interview, and reggae took a far different direction in the nineties than the resurgence of the roots harmony trio I hoped for or envisioned. And still by the late nineties there was a return to the themes, if not the sound, that drove the reggae of the mid-seventies.

And on their new album Foundation continues to manifest that better future for us all. Songs of substance like “Universal Unrest” and “Set the People Free” have never been more needed and sweet harmonies have seldom sounded sweeter.

Redefining the crisp roots sound of their early work (the disc included the new version of “Beverly Hills” with Prezident Brown as well as reality tunes like “Struggling Man,” “Serious Time,” and “Leaders of the World”), Foundation continues a tradition of roots trios that brought us such gifted vocal groups as the Melodians, Meditations, and many others. The subtle use of horns, heavy bass, and drums (on about half the album provided by Island’s two-man tourist board Sly and Robbie), and the likes of oldtime production hands Errol Brown and Clive Hunt, hold to Jack Ruby’s original vision of the group. The thoughtful lyrics, intricate

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First mix of 2019

I’ve been bad and left my zillions of fans with no news for so long (I shudder to think it was last Summer)

So without further ado, here is a mix that mixes several genres that have nothing to do in common, except they are music

 

The tracklist

# Artist Name
1 Aswad Bubbling – Dubbling
2 Sir Shina Peters + International Stars Late Aboderin
3 George Benson Breezin’
4 Joe Gibbs & The Professionals Kings Of Dub
5 Drill Drillis The Rock (Prod. Valley Swerve)
6 Dua Lipa New Rules
7 Gregory Isaacs Echoes
8 Bob Marley Redemption Song (Tuff Gong 12)
9 Bunny Wailer Bright Soul – Falling Angel
10 Philly Sound Orchestra Toe Tappin Intrumental
11 Horace Andy + Drill Drillis No Speech No Language
12 Chaba Fadela N’sel Fik

 

 

July 2, 2018 mixtape

Yeah! I was able to remember to post a new mix about in time.

The opening Artibella is a rough mix of a new, unreleased (for the moment), take on a classic by Horsemouth Wallace, Robbie Shakespeare, Chinna Smith and Robbie Lyn, who used to form the nucleaus of the Black Disciples (Burning Spear Justing Hinds, basically every production by the late great Jack Ruby)

Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus Aussi is an instrumental recorded by Sly & Robbie during their 1979 session with Serge Gainsbourg that never got used for “Aux Armes, etc…” probably because Serge didn’t have lyrics for it.

The rest will probably be more or less familiar to reggae heads, but is not that frequent, although the players of instruments have played on thousands of songs and should be part of any serious music curriculum, so enormous (and flawless) is their output.

Artibella unreleased version Black Disciples
Banana Walk Soul Vendors
Natty Dub Winston Edwards
Sufferer’s Time Dub Upsetters
A Version I can Feel With Love Revolutionaries
Good Feeling Jackie Mittoo
It’s true Dub Johnnie Clarke
Tales of Mozambique Count Ossie
Abram and Sarah Dub Revolutionaries
Kampala Dub Dub Specialist
Must Skank Bunny Wailer
Natural Version Burning Spear
M-16 Version Revolutionaries
Satisfy My Soul Babe Version Bob Marley
The Height of Dub Aggrovators
Bongo Red Dub Gladiators
Declaration of Rights Dub Abyssinians
People Dub Cornell Campbell
Tell Me Baby Instrumental Delano Stewart
Survival of the dubbiest Sly & Robbie
El Rockers Chapter 4 Augustus Pablo
Natty Passing Through Rome Version Upsetters
Beware Version Yabby You
Golden Locks Version Bim Sherman
Je t’aime moi non plus aussi Sly & Robbie
It’s So Ridiculous Dub Sly & Robbie

Fyah Bun whitewashers appropriation

I just stumbled upon Hollie Cook in a French tv show. Introducing herself, she goes: “Hello, Im Hollie Cook and I play Tropical Pop.”

WHAT? Did I get this right? Tropical Pop? What about Reggae?

Tropical Pop, what is that supposed to mean? It means you are ashamed of using the “Reggae” word, that you are scared to assume full responsibility. As if Reggae was a 4-letter word, laced with some kind of poison. You are playing REGGAE. Even if your music sucks big time, it is Reggae.

In addition, your backing band is now 100% white, whereas in the past you used the able services of the great Horseman (from London’s Ruff Cutt band) on drums, for instance. This is blatant whitewashing using some sort of cultural “HG whiter than white special detergent for white wash”… YUCK!

All in all, she is doubly scared to recognize that Reggae is a BLACK music, invented by Black people, not little bougies from white-land. Little white bougies who steal ideas (such as the dancehall drum break in the bridge of the song she played in that show…) and don’t acknowledge anything. By the way, it is worth reminding that whites never ever invented ANYTHING in Reggae music and that when they play Reggae it sucks 99% of the time.

She and her ilk meticulously and shamelessly pillage Jamaican culture, and in that she’s not even creative as this vile theft has been going on for years and will no doubt continue.

But what’s new is that now, not only does one steal, but one hides, dissimulates, disguises. UB40 had at least the graciousness of acknowledging and paying tribute to Jamaican “Fathers”. Hollie doesn’t even bother: she steals and she lies. Maximum intellectual cowardice. In your face.

And media morons lap it up. And it works. It is f#cking revolting. The white cultural imperialism is sick and makes one want to puke. we all know that.

Hollie Cooke is half white, half black, but unlike Bob Marley (but why am I mentioning Bob and her in the same sentence, apologies to Bob) who never rejected his black side, she has clearly gone on the white side of the Force ( cant say the dark side!) and behaves like the most colonial whitie. The whitewashing machine uses her cute little face, seemingly harmless to carry out their sinister objectives and she is a willing participant in this assault on Jamaican culture.

There is a special place in hell for these crassholes who rape Jamaican culture with a smug little hypocrite smirk. For sure, she will have company there, because she is not alone in this evil shit, all of that is the result of a carefully thought out strategy by her management, her production team, her record label, of accomplices in the media.

FYAH BUN and a huge F2CK YOU to this fraud and f3ck all the morons who fall for that sh1tpissvomit stinker.

King Sounds ‎– Happiness / Come Zion Side (1979)

 

25 août 2017

 

Voici un album peu connu que j’ai découvert en 79-80 avec mon meilleur ami du lycée, Radgy Tamby (le TA de mon label TABOU1), qui l’avait acheté à cause de sa pochette (oeuvre du regretté Fluoman).

KS 2.jpg

Ce disque était sorti en France sur le label français Jah Live. Fondé par José Jourdain, Jah Live est l’ancêtre des TABOU1, Iroko et autres maisons de disques françaises rééditant depuis une vingtaine d’années des chefs-d’œuvre jamaïcains. Grâce lui soit rendue: son travail fut remarquable, à une époque où les communications étaient bien plus compliquées que maintenant, les voyages plus difficiles, mais où les intervenants étaient animés d’une passion sincère et d’une pureté disparues depuis. Et surtout, le Reggae était frais, évoluait à la vitesse d’un TGV, tout était mortel, sans déchet. Les perles ressortant aujourd’hui constituaient le quotidien d’alors.

 

Plutôt que de ressasser, je renvoie à l’excellent article de Brother Laurent dans le numéro chaipucombien de ReggaeMag qui retrace le fascinant parcours de José, pionnier qui, dès 1974, proposa du Reggae en France, au magasin Champs Disques.

 

Né en 1948, Roy Livingstone Plummer (aka King Sounds) émigre en Angleterre en 1964, où il travaille au sein des sound systems et autres entreprises Reggae. Il doit son nom d’artiste à Alton Ellis, impressionné par ses prouesses de MC. Tenant un magasin de disques à Londres, il est co-fondateur du label Grove Music, qui sort des productions de Yabby You, Trevor Bow ou BB Seaton, ainsi que les premiers enregistrements d’Aswad, dont il fut manager… Ce label est distribué par Island jusqu’à sa fermeture en 1982. King Sounds a enregistré plusieurs albums en Jamaïque avec la crème des musiciens locaux pour distribuer ceux-ci en Angleterre sur ce label. Le premier d’entre eux est “Happiness / Come Zion Side”…

 

Mais donnons la parole aux principaux intéressés, ça sera plus vivant et intéressant qu’une simple chronique, non?

 

José a eu la gentillesse de m’accorder un moment au téléphone, alors qu’il installait l’isolation thermique de sa maison en Savoie avec des copains venu lui prêter main forte. Je m’approvisionnais régulièrement au magasin de King Sounds et y négociais également des licences du label Grove Music. King Sounds débarque un jour à Paris dans ma boutique et propose de sortir “Happiness”. Pour rendre service, j’ai accepté de diffuser celui-ci, que j’ai repris en même temps que le monument “Beware” de Yabby You. Fluoman réalise la pochette avec une seule couleur, l’orange, sous différentes teintes. King Sounds n’avait pas aimé l’artwork. Il a d’ailleurs sorti l’album dans d’autres territoires avec un autre design…

king sounds ori.jpg

J’avais rencontré Fluoman à la première boutique Blue Moon, rue Sauffroy dans le 17ème. Il m’avait gentiment donné sous le sceau du secret l’adresse où séjournaient les Gladiators lors de leur tournée en 1982 et j’avais passé l’après-midi et le concert à la Mutualité en leur compagnie! Il

 

BB Seaton, leader des Gaylads, mais aussi excellent arrangeur et réalisateur, a écrit deux titres, arrangé les cuivres et les harmonies.

 

BB-Seaton-300x300.jpgBB Seaton

Il se souvient: j’ai connu King Sounds quand je travaillais au studio Treasure Isle entre 1975 et 1980. Puis, quand j’étais en tournée en Angleterre, il nous servait de chauffeur. Il avait une boutique à Harlesden et je lui ai donné plusieurs chansons pour qu’il les sorte en Angleterre sur Grove Music. Sur “Come Zion Side”, j’ai écrit plusieurs chansons. Pour “Kill them dead”, nous étions au restaurant et discutions de la situation en Afrique. Tout naturellement, nous avons commencé à écrire les paroles et les arrangements. J’écris souvent en observant les gens, dans le bus, dans la rue. L’inspiration vient toute seule, il suffit de regarder. Je n’ai pas parlé à King Sounds depuis longtemps, il est en Jamaïque en ce moment. Je t’envoie ses coordonnés et tu l’appelles de ma part. Pour le reste, attends mon livre!

Quelques minutes plus tard…

 

King Sounds: si BB t’a donné mon numéro, je peux te parler en confiance, c’est un excellent ami depuis des années. Nous nous sommes rencontrés au début des années 70 pour le business et sommes restés proches. Sinon, je n’ai pas parlé à José depuis une éternité, comment va-t-il? Je suis impliqué dans le Reggae depuis que ma jeunesse. J’ai commencé comme MC dans les sounds. Puis j’ai évolué vers la production et la distribution. En tant que jeune rastafarien, je voulais évoquer l’exode des Africains et leur retour en Afrique en enregistrant un album original, avec des chansons longues, loin des formats habituels. Par exemple, “They that hate us” a de longues parties instrumentales. BB m’a aidé sur les harmonies et les cuivres, mais j’avais le reste en tête et j’ai dirigé les musiciens pour qu’ils traduisent ma vision. Il y a tellement à te raconter qu’il faudrait venir à Kingston pour parler tranquillement. Et si tu veux, rééditons ensemble mes albums. Envoie-moi tes coordonnées!

 

KS3.pngKing Sounds

Sorti en 1979, “Happiness” n’a pas eu la carrière qu’il mérite, se vendant chichement à sa sortie et ne bénéficiant pas d’une seconde jeunesse sous forme de CD ou digitale. Pourtant, rien ne manque: thématiques et mélodies typiquement rasta, cuivres dignes des meilleurs Burning Spear, parties dub splendides mixées par Errol Brown (ancien de Treasure Isle puis ingé-son de Bob Marley, excusez du peu), rythmique de Sly & Robbie, Horsemouth, Santa, Clinton Fearon, Lloyd Parks… Bref, que du beau monde à tous les instruments.

 

L’album a bénéficié d’importants moyens: les enregistrements furent réalisés à Channel One, les overdubs à Joe Gibbs et le mix à Treasure Isle, à l’acoustique exceptionnelle.

 

TI.jpg

Treasure Isle

 

Le mastering, phase essentielle dans la réalisation d’un disque, a été confié au Music Centre de Wembley, où allaient des artistes grand public comme Queen. Bref, King Sounds n’a pas lésiné, et ça s’entend: ça sonne lourd mais pas empâté, ça scintille sans être criard.

 

Le meilleur moyen de découvrir cette merveille oubliée est actuellement YouTube. En attendant une réédition, allez sur Discogs. On le trouve en bon état à des prix raisonnables. Pour ceux qui ne veulent pas depenser de sous, il y a Youtube…

 

https://www.discogs.com/King-Sounds-Come-Zion-Side-Happiness/master/525299

Mix May 2018

Good Gosh, I keep swearing I’m going to be serious this time, that I will stick to a program, etc…

 

Only to blow it.

 

Again.

 

As usual.

 

My ambition was to publish a new mix every month, but it’s already been three months….

 

Oh well…

 

In any case, today’s selection is nothing but high energy Boogie Funk from the golden era of the early 80’s. Back then, I was studying in a well respected business school called EDHEC (pronounce Headache. Seriously. No kidding. We even had a satirical publication called Headache) to become a hot shot Wall Street financier or a Madison Avenue Marketing Wizzz.

 

At parties, they kept playing this atrocious so-called new wave at parties (there was this otherwise very nice guy called Peter Van Vliet (wonder what he’s doing now) playing all these New Orders, Depeche Mode, OMD and too many other atrocious sounding bands that sounded all the boring same to me) and never ever ever any Hip Hop (they had no idea who Spoonie G or Grandmaster Caz were) or Funk (they thought it was disco and therefore decided it sucked), let alone Reggae (Reggae? are you out of your mind? it’s booooooring and nobody can dance to it). They were so pale white. Nice people but so fucking hopelessly white in their musical tastes and ambitions… I felt musically alien at EDHEC and hooked up with another loner, a Metal Head, of all people: my dear friend Zaz, who now lives in Costa Rica. He made me discover Deep Purple and I’ll be forever grateful, even though I NEVER ever ever listen to Deep Purple nowadays.

 

Back in the day, there was so little access to those US records and information was so hard to find. I remember this Senegalese dude who had cousins in New York who had those incredible 12″ records straight from the SOURCE, the endless fountain of musical bliss. Tchernio was his name. Never heard of him after school despite promises to keep in touch forever and ever… Today, almost everything ever recorded is available online (by the way, have you seen how these fucking Scandinavian holier than thou Spurtifry assholes now decide who should be or not be in their moronic playlists and banned R Kelly as a result?). I’m not one to miss the good old days and wish I had had Apple Music and a fast internet connection back then.

 

But I’m rambling on and on and almost forgot to post the playlist and the link to my new mix on Mixcloud

 

So here we go

 

1 Evelyn Champagne King Let’s Get Funky Tonight
2 Harvey Mason Groovin’ You
3 George Duke Shine On
4 ConFunkShun Bad Lady
5 Delegation Heartbreak # 9
6 D Train Keep On
7 Bar-Kays Boogie Body Land
8 Archie Bell & The Drells Glad You Could Make It
9 Dayton Dank
10 Ashford & Simpson Love Don’t Make It Right
11 Fatback Band Wanna Get To Know You Better
12 Dazz Band Let It Whip
13 Bernard Wright Master Rocker
14 Gino Soccio Try It Out
15 Gwen McCrae Keep The Fire Burning
16 Barry White I’m Qualified To Satisfy You
17 Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes Satisfaction Guaranteed

 

Mix February 2, 2018

Good Gosh, we’re already February and I haven’t sent my Happy New Year cards or even emails. New year resolutions are but a distant memory of shit to try again in 11 months or so. Life is good, haffe give thanks still

Anyway, here is a mix that’s not “just” Reggae, or “just” Rap or Funk. It’s a mix that includes two tracks by the badass production duo Valley Swerve, who have the potential to be the next Sly & Robbie, so talented are they… Ain’t me saying it, but frea-king Ro-bbie-Shakes-peare himself, yes sir…

Enjoy and hopefully this ya selection will see you through the rain, cold and wind and Spring will come quicker (can’t wait)

And now ladies and gentlemen, let’s have a round of applause for the wonderful artists that were picked to compose this exquisite, nothing-but-bangers, hard hitting yet sweet-to-the-ear tracklist, which I’d appreciate if you forwarded to 10 of your contacts (you’ll go to heaven if you do):

# Artist Track
1 Valley Swerve Dirty Soles
2 Mbongwana Star Malukayi
3 Gwen Guthrie Peanut Butter
4 Toots & the Maytals Famine
5 James Brown Get Up Offa That Thang
6 Kassav Zombi
7 Vybz Kartel + Spice Romping Shop
8 Nick Straker A Little Bit Of Jazz
9 Major Lazer Watch out for This (Bumaye)
10 Daft Punk Get Lucky
11 Aberlado Carbono Muevela
12 ELO Last Train To London
13 A$AP Rocky Wild For the Night
14 Talking Heads I Zimbra
15 Ian Dury + Sly & Robbie Spasticus
16 Massive Attack Unfinished Sympathy
17 Valley Swerve Potes 4 July