The Bristol Roots Explosion
Bristol Archive Records
Vinyl LP / Digital Release
February 29, 2012

Track list
Side A.
  1. Big Roy - Ethiopia Revelation
  2. Revelation Rockers - Culture
  3. Joshua Moses - Africa (Is Our Land)
  4. Bunny Marrett - Times Are Getting Harder
  5. 3D Production - Riot
Side B.
  1. Rhythmites - Nation Integration
  2. Restriction - Calling For Mercy
  3. Zion Band - Twelve Tribes
  4. Talisman - Dole Age (7" Mix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4/5 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 5
In the spring of 2011, Bristol Archive Records released their critical acclaimed and commercial successful compilation album "The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-83", which in the fall of that same year was followed by "The Bristol Reggae Explosion Vol. 2 - The 80s", which turned out to be another worthwhile collection of tunes from the vaults of Bristol's reggae scene. For these compilations Bristol Archive Records had to make licensing agreements, but now, with the expiration of some licences, the label needed to update both compilations and swap some tracks for alternatives. Both updated volumes will be getting a release on CD and digital download. However, when it comes to releasing a vinyl LP, the good people from Bristol Archive Records have created a brand new exclusive vinyl compilation called "The Bristol Roots Explosion", which is strongly inspired by their hugely successful "Midlands Roots Explosion" series.

This vinyl LP features five tracks taken from the above mentioned two volumes of "The Bristol Reggae Explosion" plus one track taken from the Rhythmites' album "Integration", one track from Revelation Rockers' LP "Jah Praises" and two debut appearances for Roy 'Big Roy' Bailey and Restriction. The former, one of the first Bristol reggae artists to document his talents in the studio, opens the A-side with the crucial "Ethiopia Revelation", an excellent cultural piece that dates from 1976. Next comes another great song, Revelation Rockers' "Culture", which tackles the loss of cultural identity caused by the legacy of slavery. It's followed by Joshua Moses' "Africa (Is Our Land)" from 1978, a killer roots anthem produced by Dennis Bovell that deals with repatriation. Also track number 4, Bunny Marrett's sole vinyl outing, the awesome thumping roots tune "Times Are Getting Harder", is a huge effort. 3D Production's drum & bass driven "Riot" closes this very strong A-side in a great way.

Side B takes off with "Nation Integration" by Bath outfit Rhythmites, a great UK roots song that calls for unity. It sees Angus' distinctive vocals accompanied by a riddim track with appealing horn parts. Restriction's "Calling For Mercy" is the second previously unreleased track featured on this album. It's a solid tune, that most likely will re-appear on the group's forthcoming album of unreleased recordings from 1982 to 1986. With "Twelve Tribes", coming from their 1982 released "Freedom City" 12" vinyl, Bristol rockers called Zion Band deliver an outstanding tough UK roots tune. To us, the last tune included on this side - the wonderful "Dole Age (7" Mix)" from Talisman - is the icing on the cake.

Excellent compilation, worth spinning over and over again!!