Label
Riddim
Format
Date

Irie Ites Records
Cuss Cuss
7" Single / Digital Release
October 12, 2015

Artist & tune
  • Glen Washington - Haile Bless / Trinity - Rock Ina Dancehall
  • Linval Thompson - Ganja Man / Joseph Cotton - Dancehall Connection
Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)   
Back in the late '60s producer Harry Johnson aka Harry J did cut one or two Reggae classics, and one of them is the magnificent 'Cuss Cuss' by Lloyd Robinson. Recorded at Studio One, "Cuss Cuss" had everything you would expect that famous studio could offer, a great drum and bass sound together with some fine keyboard work, but best of all some truly outstanding lead guitar work which sounds like Ernest Ranglin.

In the late '70s Coxsone Dodd pulled out his Lloyd Robinson cut of the tune, however with a slower and much fuller production of the riddim. Not long after Coxsone's cut of the tune came the first of three versions of it from Horace Andy. The latter first cut the tune for Lloyd Barnes' New York based Wackies label in the late '70s. This cut is slower again than the Coxsone cut, but is a lot more open in its production which gives it back some of the energy found on the first cut. In 1981 Ranking Joe released his version of the riddim called "Cus-Cus Women", with the Roots Radics also slowing the riddim down. Soundwise this cut must be the heaviest cut of the riddim ever recorded. In 1982, the Roots Radics did another version of the "Cuss Cuss" for producer Henry 'Junjo' Lawes. And it didn't stop there as much more new versions of the riddim kept on coming from producers such as Donovan Germain, Philip 'Fatis' Burrell, Bobby Digital, King Jammy, Bobby Konders, Roy Francis and Jack Scorpio, to name only seven.

And now there's the latest version of the "Cuss Cuss" played by the Roots Radics. Mixed by 'So So' Calvin, produced by Jericho and coming on the French Irie Ites label, it features four brand new tunes by veteran singers and deejays. The A-side of the single features a singer's cut, while the flipside includes the deejay counterpart. Glen Washington shines on the spiritual "Hail Bless", a big tune delivered in the veteran singer's tried and trusted style. Trinity, whose career started in the mid-70s, is known for classic songs such as "Three Piece Suit", "Uptown Girl" and "In The Ghetto". Here he shows that after all these years he's still capable of coming up with a solid effort on a vintage riddim. The same can be said about Linval Thompson and Joseph Cotton, whose "Ganja Man" and "Dancehall Connection" grace the other 7" vinyl single. Both tunes fully match the ones featured on the other record.

Recommended stuff for those who are into early dancehall. Available for vinyl buyers and also for those who have to build their collection with digital downloads.