Megabit 25, 1922 Dub
Prince Far I
October 11, 2014

Track list
  1. Negusa Negast
  2. Janhoi
  3. Tenastelin
  4. Itege
  5. Ejarsa Gora
  6. Gebbi
  7. Menelik-1
  8. Itchege
  9. Hapta
  10. Maskal
  11. Tesfa
  12. Waizero
  13. Qurban
  14. Abun
  15. Ras Makonnen
  16. Kebra Negast
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Born Michael James Williams in Spanish Town, Jamaica in 1945, Prince Far I grew up in the Waterhouse area of Kingston, where he attended sound system dances with on the mic the early deejays who would become his inspiration. With confidence and experience he assumed the role of lead deejay with the Sir Mike the Musical Dragon Sound System at the beginning of the 1970s. At that time he was working under his first stage name, King Cry Cry, and even had a few singles released under that name by producer Coxsone Dodd of Studio One fame. He then started using the name Prince Far I at the suggestion of another producer he had worked with, Enos McLeod. With a unique deep bass voice and talking over style, he became a popular reggae artist, styling himself "The Voice of Thunder".

Originally released on vinyl in 1985, the "Megabit 25, 1922-Dub" set has also been made available on cd. Despite being credited to Prince Far I, this 16-track album is actually more of a tribute album to Prince Far I - murdered in 1983 - than a work by the man himself. The deejay's remarkable gruff tones only grace a handful of riddims from Roy Cousins' back catalogue. In fact it are Prince Far I voice samples that are worked into the mix, reminiscent of what Adrian Sherwood did with Dub Syndicate. Credits for doing this tasteful and good job have to go to Gerry Kenny aka Sir Freddie Viadukt aka the Minister of Noise.

The first two tracks - also included on Knowledge's compilation "Rasta Don't Take The Bribe" - feature Prince Far I's spoken works over great dubbed up versions of Knowledge tracks, with "Jahnoi" being the most hard-hitting effort. These two burners are followed by the matching "Tenastelin" and "Itege". The latter's riddim track turns out to be a relicked version of The Heptones' "Love Won't Come Easy". Then, to top off these opening tracks, comes "Ejarsa-Gora" with Prince Far I's ‘marvel of miracles' sample and traces of Gregorian chant appearing in the mix on top of Vivian Jackson & Ralph Brothers' stripped down "Conquering Lion" riddim. Among the remaining tracks are dubs to tunes by artists such as The Royals, Cornell Campbell, Charlie Chaplin and The Gaylads. The album is rounded off by the awesome "Kebra Negast", which features a great relick of the riddim that underpinned Ken Boothe's "Your Feeling And Mine" from 1971.

Overall opinion is that "Megabit 25, 1922-Dub" is well wicked and worth checking out.