The Bristol Reggae Explosion Vol. 2 - The 80's
Bristol Archive Records
October 3, 2011

Track list
  1. Joshua Moses - Rise Up
  2. Bunny Marrett - Times Are Getting Harder
  3. Alfred McIntosh - Wicked (Dub)
  4. Zion Band - Twelve Tribes
  5. 3 D Production - Re-Arrange (Version)
  6. Zapp Stereo - Way Out West
  7. Restriction - Re-Action
  8. Cool Runnings - Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto
  9. Black Roots - The Father
  10. Dennis McCalla aka Dallas - Peacemaker
  11. Black Roots - Pin In The Ocean
  12. The Radicals - Time Out
  13. Lord John Hutchinson - Little Eyes
  14. Dan Ratchett - Raggamuffin Girl
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Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 4-
Very Good -Votes: 3-
Good -Votes: 1-
Average -Votes: 0-
Disappointing -Votes: 1-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 9
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4/5
Following the critical and commercial success of "The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978 - 1983", Bristol Archive Records have dug even deeper into the city's reggae heritage for the follow-up, "Bristol Reggae Explosion Volume 2 - The 80's". Bristol Archive Records is a label with a mission to share the musical heritage of Bristol with the world.

Last century Bristol had one of the largest Jamaican communities in the UK. The immigrants brought their music with them and soon they started to form soundsystems and organize 'blues' parties. At first the immigrants settled in the St. Paul's area of Bristol with main soundsystems being Tarzan, Trojan, Jah Revelation and High Priest. Soon the first artists started recording tunes, most of them being firm roots reggae songs. The major record companies completely ignored that outburst of talent and it was left to the bands themselves and the handful of indie labels to spread the music. Working on tight budgets and with no money for marketing campaigns local bands managed to release a small, but steady flow of vinyl, mostly pressed in tiny quantities and often sold direct to fans at gigs, these records, although cherished by those who own them, and sought by those in the know, have been largely ignored by the wider music industry.

This release sees the inclusion of several unreleased tracks and some fine dub outings. Bristol's top roots exponents Black Roots are present here with two tracks. First there's the unpolished rootsy tune The Father, a typical example of their early roots style. The second tune, Pin In The Ocean, sees the band in a more commercial style, but with no loss in quality. Great tune inna discomix fashion! The Black Roots' tune 'Bristol Rock' (included on the first volume) was written by Bunny Marrett. Here they have included his sole vinyl outing, the very scarce Times Are Getting Harder, an awesome thumping roots anthem. Little is known about the band Cool Runnings. Fact is that there were reputedly just 200 copies pressed of Robin Hoods Of The Ghetto. Musically the tune reaches back to sweet rocksteady tunes, but with a bitter lyrical content. On Volume 1 Africa Is Our land from Joshua Moses made a deep impression. Here he opens the album with Rise Up, the perfect appetizer for this set. More roots niceness comes from Dennis McCalla (aka Dallas) with Peacemaker. From the mid-eighties comes Zapp Stereo's (previously unreleased) tune Way Out West. Out of that same period comes Lord John Hutchinson's with the soul flavoured Little Eyes, which isn't the strongest tune on this album.

As said before the album brings us some fine dub outings. Alfred McIntosh is responsible for two dub tunes. Wicked is 7 minute long (previously unreleased) dub-excursion, but equally strong and weird is Ah It. The instrumental/dub tune Re-Arrange by 3 D Production is a fantastic psychedelic work out of the echo chambers of Bristol!

Very interesting and thoughtfully compiled album. Grab your copy!