Black Black Minds
The Travellers
Pressure Sounds
September 30, 2005

Track list
  1. Black Black Minds
  2. Know Yourself
  3. Jah Gave Us The World
  4. Natty Dread At The Controls
  5. False Leaders
  6. Peace And Rest
  7. Peace And Rest Version
  8. Girl Left Behind
  9. Tell Me Why
  10. How Long
  11. How Long Version
  12. Poor Manís Cry
  13. Jammyís A Do It
  14. Keep On Trying
  15. Keep On Trying Version
  16. We Got To Leave
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 3
It's always exciting when a new Pressure Sounds album arrives --

This Travellers album doesn't live up the high standards set by earlier releases such as the Kool Roots album, arguably because The Travellers vocal styles are significantly derivative, and lacking in distinctive originality -- But it is still well worth a reissue, primarily due to the spiky, unconventional dubs, some of which almost have an edge of '76 style punk raw power.

The album succeeds, therefore, due to Prince Jammys's clean and aggressively surreal mixing, skeletal and metallic and harsh. The production values are similar to the Bim Sherman "Lover's Leap" album, particularly echoing the raw power edge of tunes like "Chancery Lane" and "My Brethren."

Top track here is "How Long Version" which sounds like an eerie out take from Eno / Byrne's "Bush Of Ghosts", with ghostly frequencies and incoherent vocal chants seeping in and out of the consciousness. "Keep On Trying Version" too, has an energising hooligan thug edge to the snare and bass.

It has to be said, U Black, who gave such impassioned performances on mid period Bim Sherman albums, puts in some half hearted efforts here which is a let down.

"Know Yourself" is beautiful, sounding reminiscent of Joe Higgs' Grounation "More Slavery" tune, and the players (Skin Flesh and Bones with The Radics on one track, "We Got To Leave") are exemplary from start to finish, without exception--No lack lustre performances here.

The press release informs us -- "When he rediscovered the tapes of "Black Black Minds" earlier this year, King Jammy's excitedly described it as finding gold."

It is questionable whether this re-issue could indeed, truthfully be called "rediscovered gold" from the vaults -- silver, or bronze, perhaps. But surely silver or bronze is good enough at a time when original, good, quality source material from the 60's and 70's to be re-issued from the vaults is -- undeniably -- slowly drying up, the vault soon to be rendered empty.

As with all Blood and Fire and Pressure Sounds releases, it's a pleasure when such dusty and long lost 45's are dug up once again -- even when they are not without fault, as is the case here.