Drum Sound ~ More Gems From The Channel One Dub Room - 1974 To 1980
The Revolutionaries
Pressure Sounds
CD / 2LP
November 11, 2007

Track list
  1. Kunta Kinte Version One
  2. Hotter Fire Version
  3. Pride & Ambition Version
  4. Rootes Dub
  5. Thinking Version
  6. War Version
  7. A Who Say Version Two
  8. Tivoli Skank
  9. Dunkirk
  10. Swell Headed
  11. Ride On Marcus Version
  12. Jah Creation Version
  13. Plantation Heights Version
  14. Back Weh Version
  15. Catonine Version
  16. Girl A Love You Version
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4/5
"I really started looking at music. Started to experiment on the drums. To see if we could make the drum dance by itself..." Sly Dunbar.

Without doubt Channel One, located at Maxfield Avenue in Kingston, Jamaica, was the pre-eminent Jamaican studio in the mid-to-late 1970s. The studio was owned and set up by the Hookim brothers, who started out with distributing one-armed bandits and jukeboxes, but when gaming machines were outruled by the government in 1970 they branched off and set up their own recording studio in the heart of the Kingston ghetto. When the studio became operational in 1973 the sound was not right, so the deejay I Roy encouraged Ernest and Joseph 'Jo Jo' Hookim to visit Tubby's to observe the effect of the same piece of studio outboard in operation there. Subsequently, I Roy became unofficial house producer at Channel One. When he and Joseph Hookim suggested to drummer Sly Dunbar that he make a 'clap' sound on his snare, the result, combined with the improved bass response, was enough to impart just the right amount of freshness to the vintage riddims updated by I Roy and The Revolutionaries. Sly Dunbar's ground-breaking drumming style and Robbie Shakespeare's equally assured basslines formed the basis of the highly successful new vocals such as the Mighty Diamonds, but were also responsible for a series of very popular dub albums including "Vital Dub", which established Sly & Robbie's names on an international level.

"Drum Sound" -- subtitled More Gems From The Channel One Dub Room - 1974 To 1980 -- is a solid collection of classic dubs and instrumentals from the vaults of Channel One played by the studio's legendary house band The Revolutionaries, a loose congregation of top flight session musicians centred around drum and bass players Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare and incorporating such talented musicians as Bertram 'Ranchie' McLean, Errol 'Tarzan' Nelson, Radcliffe 'Dougie' Bryan, Robbie Lynn, Uziah 'Sticky'Thompson, Ansel Collins, and horn players Herman Marquis, Tommy McCook and Vin Gordon.

This compilation, containing stuff mined from singles on the Channel One, Well Charge and Disco Mix labels, starts out with the incredible "Kunta Kinte Version One", perhaps the most famous 1970s dubplate most commonly associated with Jah Shaka sound, the blueprint for the sound adopted by the UK roots crews. It's the first commercial release of this legendary dubplate, a raw drum & bass cut to Creole's 1977 roots classic "Beware Of Your Enemies" with eerie synthesized flute intro overdubbed at Island. This track alone makes this set a worthwhile purchase! But there are more pieces included on this compilation which will please the aficionado of vintage dub and instrumentals like e.g. "Hotter Fire Version", the dub version of Ranking Trevor's deejay cut to Mighty Diamonds' "Them Never Love Poor Marcus", I Roy's awesome cut to Junior Bylesí timeless "Fade Away" entitled Rootes Dub" (built at the Channel but mixed at King Tubby's), the original version of Creole's great roots item "Jah Creation" across the same riddim as the classic "Shaka The Great", the version side to The Enforcer's "Ride On Marcus", and "Plantation Heights Version", a dubbed up version of Dillinger's deejay cut to Mighty Diamonds' "I Need A Roof". Most of the tracks gathered here have snatches of vocals (Mighty Diamonds, Horace Andy, Creole, Dillinger and Leroy Smart) floating in and out of the mix.

If you're vehement about Channel One and the rockers era sound, you need this one for your vintage collection. The album is available on compact disc and double vinyl, replete with a wealth of images and information.