The Roots Radics
Distant Drum / Ohm Records
Vinyl LP (Limited Edition) / Digital Release
May 20, 2016
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : -||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 4/5||Sleeve : 5|
After having re-released Errol "Flabba" Holt's "Rastafari Time" and then The Morwell's "Presenting The Morwells", Ohm Records now reissue the Roots Radics' "Radicfaction" album, which is remastered and beautifully pressed in a limited edition vinyl release.
This very rare album of Roots Radics dubs was produced by Maurice Wellington aka Blacka Morwell and Eric Lamont aka Bingy Bunny, recorded and mixed by Anthony "Crucial Bunny" Graham aka Bunny Tom Tom at the legendary Channel One studio at Maxfield Avenue in Kingston, Jamaica, and originally issued in the UK on the Cha Cha imprint in 1982. Although the original release credited Scientist as the mixing engineer, it actually was Crucial Bunny who was the lead recording and mixing engineer.
Crucial Bunny was an incredible engineer, mixer, and producer, who in the late 1970's started his career working with the great King Tubby and through that channel he mixed albums for artists such as The Heptones, Black Uhuru, Earl Zero, Al Campbell, Earl Sixteen, The Ethiopians, and many more. In the early 1980's Crucial Bunny really came into his own and found an amazing sound musically through the vast mixing board at Channel One.
The Roots Radics, officially formed in 1978 by Errol "Flabba" Holt (bass), Eric "Bingy Bunny" Lamont (guitar), and Lincoln "Style" Scott (drums), created a completely new and original sound like no one had ever heard before. From the late '70s through the '90s the Roots Radics sound reigned over reggae dancehalls worldwide. They backed the majority of vocalists and vocal groups coming out of Jamaica at that time on countless albums and singles and worked with producers such as Henry "Junjo" Lawes, Linval Thompson, Joe Gibbs, and Maurice 'Blacka Morwell" Wellington. The latter worked with the Roots Radics on producing a series of releases and the dubs gathered on "Radicfaction" were part of it.
The 5 tracks of Side One on this album were included as bonus tracks on Sound System's CD reissue of "Scientist Meets The Roots Radics" from 2000. Actually these bonus tracks were the best that CD had to offer. And now they reappear, together with 5 other dubs, where they originally belong... on the fantastic "Radicfaction" LP, which was released at the tail end of reggae's golden age. The first track "Weep And Wail", dub to Derrick Spence's roots killer "I See A Black Man Cry", instantly makes clear what this LP has to offer... drum and bass-heavy dub versions of some of the strongest vocal tunes recorded at Channel One in the early '80s. With "Gunman" we're treated to the first of the four tracks included here that are dubs to vocal efforts by Bingy Bunny. "Gunman" is the great dub counterpart to "Me And Jane", while "Keep It In The Family" is dubbed up in great style on "Inforce'a". And then there are also the dub to "Him A Natty Dread" called "Roadblock" and, last but not least, "M16", the dub to Bingy Bunny's "Street Lover". "Radicfaction" is a truly almighty dub to Rising Fire's heavy sufferer's tune called "Free Up The Black Man". Listening to the first track of Side Two, "Babylon Armed", riddim spotters will certainly recognize the "You Should Have Known" riddim, and the same goes for the last track of this side, "Judgement Time", which is a dub to the classic "Vanity" riddim that was used for Nicodemus' "Outside Girl". Remain "Changes", a wicked & wild dub to Horace Andy's cover of Errol Dunkley's "Black Cinderella", and "Dread In Confrontation" of which we couldn't trace down its vocal counterpart.
If you like the Roots Radics sound, you can't go wrong with this forceful dub album.