Album review
Kingston Sessions 1992-2002
Restless Mashaits
Addis Records
01 - 04 - 2002

Tracking list

  1. Africa
  2. Africa Dub
  3. Selassie I Steps
  4. Good Conquer Evil
  5. Dub Conquer Evil
  6. Tribal African Dub
  7. King Of Kings
  8. King Dub
  9. Dubby Road
  10. Herbalist
  11. Faya Dub (kette mix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)

Lead Instruments : 5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4

You all probably know the feeling. Someone makes a statement, and all you can think of is proving him wrong. That's what happened to me when this CD was sold to me at Irie Records in Münster (Germany). The guy in the shop (who also happens to be the distributor of this disc - check for more info on the distribution and shop, as well as mail-order: www.irierecords.de) said: "You do know Rico's "Man From Wareika", don't you? Well this CD is not only in that same vein, it's got the same quality." All I thought was, put it on then, make me buy it, but I ended up doing so. Straight away, only a few bars into the album's opener "Africa" it seems someone has discovered lost tracks from the "Man From Wareika" sessions. Superb instrumental reggae, roots riddims, with fabulous horns on top. Jill & Stuff, the core of Restless Mashaits started playing together in numerous Swiss outfits in the late 80s, before they started their own label Addis Records in 1992, with the help of befriended JA recording engineer Bravo from Leggo Studios. Being fans of the 70s sound captured on albums like "Man From Wareika" it was just logical for them to record with veterans from that era, their first four singles that included "Faya Dub" and "Adwa March". After that they concentrated on backing reggae artists visiting Jamaica, several collaborations like Junior Delgado's "Reasons", and becoming better known in the UK than they were in their own Switzerland.
Realizing their first batch of singles was still in demand back in Europe, on their next visit to Jamaica they decided to record a complete album of instrumental reggae, aided by the same roots veterans, and Mixing Lab's engineer Colin 'Bulby' York. with the horn section of Dean Fraser, Nambo Robinson & Chico, and Dwight Pickney, Bongo Herman and Scully chipping in they recorded "Africa" and its dub companion, "Selassie Steps", "Good Conquer Evil" and its dub. And everything single track is a beauty. "Tribal African Dub" is mixed by Soljie, with Scully being the only Jamaican playing along Jill's keyboards & programming, and Stuff's bass & percussion and their fellow countryman Thai-D. Deadly 'Headly' Benett is the featured soloist alongside Dizzy Moore and Everton Gayle on "King Of Kings" and its dub, accompanied by vocals from Nello B, Jennifer Barrett and June Cole on "Dubby Road". "Herbalist" is mixed by the man with whom this all started: Leggo. And this CD closes with Jill & Stuff's own kette mix of "Faya Dub", featuring Keith Sterling, Flabba Holt and Harry T. This is a magnificent album, with 11 superb tracks.
It still seems pretty difficult to track down, but for everyone in the Netherlands it can easily be found. At Jamdown Recordstore in Enschede, see their site at www.jamdown.nl Go there for this must-have album.