Jah Poor People
Dan Ratchet
Bristol Archive Records
June 24, 2012

Dan Ratchet Track list
  1. Jah Poor People
  2. Dub
  3. Ekome Is Unity
  4. Dub
  5. Afrikana Policies
  6. Dub
  7. Girl You Want My Love
  8. Dub
  9. Early Morning Smoking
  10. Dub
  11. The Time Has Come
  12. Dub
  13. Sweet Rosie
  14. Dub
  15. If Jah Should Leave Me
  16. Dub
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Total votes : 4
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Every now and then, a slice of Reggae is left in the fridge. After taking it out, it is the most delicious treat to be baked inna long time. After 26 years, Dan Ratchet's utterance "Jah Poor People" has been released by the ever amazing Bristol Archive Records. The music world has been treated to unearthed gems by Black Roots, Talisman and Cool Runnings to name a few. Thus far, this release is the most interesting!

Dan "Versatile" Ratchet was born in October, 1963 and quickly got the musical bug. As a youth, he was mesmerized by The Wailer's performance on "The Old Grey Whistle Test" in the early 1970's. Bristol is a workingman's town north of London and has had a burgeoning Reggae scene since the late 1970's. A perfect atmosphere for Dan to spread his wings. He formed "Jah Children" at 13 and kept it going for five years. He continued his maturation with "Full Force And Power". As cosmic forces prevail, his cousin happened to be Simba (Simbarashe Tongogara), a hugely respected producer and writer with ties to Mikey Dread, Aswad, King Sounds and Jamaica's top musicians. The time had come...

Simba organised sessions at BBMC Studio in London with Michael Campbell engineering and yard sessions at Channel One with Sly Dunbar and Earl 'Chinna' Smith and The High Times Players in early 1986. The sessions were mixed by maestro Steven Stanley. This had the makings of something magical. Alas, only The Time Has Come (co-written by Misty In Roots, Munya Brown) and Sweet Rosie were released as 12" packages. The album regrettably was never released until Simba licensed the recordings to Bristol Archive Records in 2012

"Jah Poor People" is as sweet as it gets. At the time of recording, political tunes and Lovers rock ruled the UK as opposed to digi dancehall going on in Jamaica. The former is the theme of this release. The first three tracks are directed at the turmoil going on in Africa. The listener gets a taste of Dan's sweet, sweet voice backed by rock solid riddims showcasing syndrums and intelligent keyboards. Dan is a master of Lovers Rock as evident on Girl You Want My Love as pure as it gets with a captivating musical approach and harmonies. The sensational Early Morning Smoking has Aswadesque influences reminiscent of their "To The Top" album . The Time Has Come is a showcase track with a horn section that has Misty In Roots written all over it. Sweet Rosie is infectious and demands immediate attention. The final track, If Jah Should Leave Me is a hall of famer. Recorded at Channel One, it's a slow ballad that gives way to quality riddim evoking Dan's commitment to Rastafari. The dubs from each track are impeccable; not overdone but a testament to the amount of talent in the studios! Big up to Michael Campbell (RIP) and Steven Stanley.

Thankfully, Dan is alive and well. Helping up and comers at Bristol's The Music Works and The Tunnels. He is actively performing. At the end of June, he appears at Bunny Marrett's release party and will be performing at "The Bristol Reggae Explosion" alongside Joshua Moses, Talisman, Smith And Mighty, Bunny Marrett in late August. This musical don has finally got the raspect he truly deserves. He has waited patiently for a quarter century for Jah time. It is your time to check this out by any means necessary!